November 26, 2013

The lamp of the poor


We don’t need electricity, gas, or coal. We need light, warmth, or cold. We don’t need more energy, but new technologies.

"Alfredo Moser is a Brazilian mechanic who had a brilliant idea in 2002, after going through one of the frequent black-outs in Uberaba, the city where he lives in the south of Brazil. He was tired of electricity failures, so Moser started playing around with the idea of water refracting light and after a bit he had invented the “light bottle for poor people“. "Wit" is simple and available to anyone: a plastic bottle is filled with water and a few drops of bleach to prevent the formation of algae. The bottle is inserted into a hole in the roof and surrounded by polyester resin. And the results? Free, non-polluting light during the day, so it’s particularly useful for those buildings and sheds that hardly have any windows. According to the intensity of the sunlight, the power of these lamps is about 40 to 60 watts. "It’s a divine light. God created the sun and thus its light is for everyone“ is how Moser put it when talking to the BBC. "It doesn’t cost a cent and it can’t get turned off by a lightning strike." Even though the inventor has received small sums of money to install “Wit” in local homes and companies, his idea has not made him rich. With a certain satisfaction he says “I know a man that installed bottle-lamps and in a month he’d saved enough to buy basic necessities for his new born infant”. In the last two years, the invention has spread around the world. The MyShelter Foundation in the Philippines has welcomed the idea enthusiastically. MyShelter specialises in alternative construction using material like bamboo, tires or paper. In China, where 25% of the population live below the poverty line and where electricity is particularly costly, there are 140,000 families that have made use of this system of illumination. The light bottles are now used in at least fifteen countries, including India, Bangladesh, Fiji and Tanzania. "I never imagined that my invention would have had such an impact", said Moser. "Just thinking about it gives me goose pimples." El confidencial

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February 09, 2012

The big fat waste of Italian gas - Paolo Ermani

The big fat waste of Italian gas
The gas that we import gets thrown out of the window. We could halve imports. In fact we waste at least half. The efficiency of our generating stations goes from 35% to 55%. Furthermore, the Italian energy system is strongly centralised and this brings about losses in the distribution. If we add in that the passive houses, that consume 15 kw/m2 per year, between 10 and 15 times less than a normal house, are almost non-existent, you can understand in whose hands we are. A national energy plan is more than ever urgent and necessary.

Interview with Paolo Ermani, president of the Paea Association

The strategy of programmed suicide
Greetings to all the friends of Beppe Grillo’s blog. My name is Paolo Ermani of the Paea Association and for a long time I have been dealing with energy issues, saving energy, and renewable energy. The current situation, regarding gas and the interruption of supply in recent days is the offspring of a system that is absolutely irrational and inadequate. The energy system in Italy is heavily centralised. The centralisation is the root of all the waste and all the blackouts.


The advantages of thermal insulation
The solutions given by the expersts are: “If our problem is dependency, let’s increase dependency. If our problem is the greenhouse effect, let’s increase the greenhouse effect.” But why act like this? Because the first and only thought of the energy monopolists is their wallet, and these people have absolutely no interest in safeguarding the environment and the people, even because there have been similar crises in the past,


Energy saving on a par with wellbeing
We have Marchionne who still belongs to the Pleistocene era who still wants to sell cars in Italy in a country where there are more vehicles than people with driving licences, thus if one thinks that from these people the solutions are forthcoming, we can abandon every hope. But in fact we ourselves can place many solutions on the table.


Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:50 PM in Energy | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

November 30, 2011

Europe high and dry


The crisis in 1929 was a financial one. The current crisis, the one that started in 2008, is not just a financial one. As well as the creation of an immense quantity of rubbish money based on debt and thus non-existent, you have to add climate change that has ever more relevant economic aspects, and the scarcity of energy resources. The crisis is thus “una e trina” {three in one}. Finance, environment, energy. It’s the end of a civilisation (let’s call it like that …) that cannot be stopped just with financial instruments. What’s needed is a grand political vision, not a banking one. The economic bases on which our society is standing are collapsing, starting with energy. The price of oil has exploded. In 2011 the average price per barrel will go above 100 dollars for the first time on an annual basis. The highest since 1864, the year when the war of American Secession was raging. It’s forecast to reach 150 dollars a barrel in a few years. The EU is among the top areas of the world for the importation of oil. In 2011, it will pay 402 billion dollars as compared to 280 in 2010. An increase of 122 billion on the balance of payments. This high will cause increases for almost all the goods produced, even for agriculture (phosphates are derived from oil) and for transport. Travelling could once more become a luxury as it was in the nineteenth century. In 2015, the EU will be the world’s top importer of oil, a good that is destined to increase because of its growing scarcity and for the increase in demand, that is by now bulimic, from the emerging countries like China and India. The greenhouse effect and the climate changes are costing a lot. In 2010 there were 950 disasters in the world with damage amounting to 130 billion dollars. The CO2 emissions are going up instead of going down and the increase of two degrees due to the greenhouse effect is a matter of months. While the three new knights of the Apocalypse are romping around the planet, the Great of the Earth, thus defined by the hack writers, are thinking about growth. In 2035, the number of cars in the world will double and arrive at 1.7 billion. Towards the catastrophe with optimism.


Siamo in guerra, {We are at War}, by Beppe Grillo and Gianroberto Casaleggio.
La Rete contro i partiti, per una nuova politica {the Internet against the parties, for a new sort of politics}
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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 06:14 PM in Energy | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

July 22, 2011

Porto Tolle’s coal

clean coal does not exist
There are places where even a breath has a different taste. Every blade of grass, every grain of soil, suffers, defenceless, the tragedy generated by man. At Porto Tolle, in Veneto, there’s an ENEL power station that’s one of the biggest in Europe. Its white and red striped tower rises up to the sky and rips open the plain, on the Po delta. It ran on fuel oil, but now they want to reconvert it to a coal fuelled power station. They tell us the story of clean coal, hiding the reality. Coal is one of the most polluting fuels. It goes back 300 million years. Its release of CO2 into the air is devastating. However it costs less. It guarantees bigger profits. And in the face of business there’s no environment that stands up.

Interview with Vanni Destro of the Comitato per la difesa della salute e dell' ambiente per la Provincia di Rovigo {campaign group for the defence of health and the environment in the Province of Rovigo}:

Clean coal does not exist
This here has been closed down for almost 6 years. It’s the old ENEL power station fuelled by oil with a high sulphur content. It was obliged to close down in 2005 after functioning for 25 years without ministerial authorisation, because it polluted too much. It’s said that it was the most polluting one in Europe.


PDL Inspectors and PDminusL inspectors
Here we are at Boccasette, in a locality where for better or for worse, a low level of summer tourism has developed in the mouth of the Po, but further on there’s Alberella and Rosolina for a more popular type of tourism.
We are here because right at the end, right in front there’s the LNG regasification plant belonging to Adriatic LNG


Panem, circenses and coal
CO2 emissions in a country that already has a problem of deficit in relation to the agreements at a European level, already we are exceeding these by 80 million tons, that will be increased by another 10.5 million tons, even though they are talking of the capture and storage of CO2, at the limit if it were to work, according to their declarations, they will manage to capture roughly a million tons


Soldi rubati - di Nunzia Penelope

Soldi rubati - by Nunzia Penelope
I cittadini sono poveri perché i delinquenti sono ricchi {The citizens are poor because the delinquents are rich}
Buy your copy today.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:33 PM in Energy | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 27, 2011

Nuclear ravings of an old madman


The words pronounced yesterday by an old madman mark the boundary between the end of democracy in Italy and his pretty feeble survival:
"We are absolutely convinced that nuclear energy is the future for the whole world. The moratorium has been useful to have time to let the situation in Japan get clearer and in the space of 1 to 2 years, public opinion will be aware enough to return to nuclear, what has happened in Japan following on from the surveys that we regularly carry out has given a further shock to our citizens. If we had been having the referendum today, nuclear in Italy would not be possible for many years into the future.” The government “has been responsible and so wanted to bring in this moratorium so that it’s possible to let the situation be clarified and so that, perhaps after a year, or perhaps two years, it’ll be possible to have public opinion aware of the need to return to nuclear, the many contracts that have been set up will not be reneged on (Between EDF and ENEL – editor), we are continuing and deciding to move forward many sectors of these contracts like the ones relating to training.
In these words there is the total contempt for the citizen and for the will of the people.
The Court of Cassation must make a pronouncement on the referendum against nuclear. The Government has withdrawn the law for the construction of new reactors so that it can repropose it in a year’s time (public pronouncement by the head of the Government) in the hope that the Fukushima disaster will be forgotten. It is, as even a five year old child would understand, a way of taking us for a ride. The Central Office of the Court of Cassation chaired by Capotosti, has to decide whether the referendum will go ahead anyway. If it cancels it will be an accomplice.
Article 39 of law 352/1970 says: “if before the date that the referendum is carried out, the law, or the act having the force of law, or the individual arrangements in it to which the referendum refers, have been abrogated, the Central Office for the referendum declares that the relative operations will not continue to go ahead.
Here it is clear, no one wants to abrogate anything, they simple want to let time pass. It is a mafia technique: "Quannu tira u ventu fatti canna!" (Sicilian Proverb: Watch out when the wind blows!) of a nuclear government and a colluding Opposition that has Veronesi as a testimonial (former senator with the PDminusL) and that caused the failure of the proposal to bring together the local elections and the referendum with its absences in Parliament (10 PDminusL, 2 IdV).The Court of Cassation is facing a choice. It’s either with the citizens, or it’s with the P2-ist corruptor and his lackeys. They will never give up (but is it in their interests?). Neither will we.

Spegniamo il nucleare

Spegniamo il Nucleare {Let’s shut down nuclear} (Book)

Survival Manual in the face of nuclear lies
by Beppe Grillo
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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 04:45 PM in Energy | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 26, 2011

The animals of Fukushima

Fukushima’s animals
The animals of Fukushima have stayed within the 30 Km contamination zone. Their masters have fled. All the animals are radioactive. No one can any longer leave the area. Three thousand cows, thirty thousand pigs, six hundred thousand chickens and an imprecise number of domestic animals. The dogs that have survived go up to the rare car with authorisation, in search of food. Around them there’s an unreal silence and abandoned houses. Almost all of the fowl have died. The cows and the calves, where there are no farms with automatic feeding machines, have died of hunger and thirst. According to the Japanese authorities, 70% of the pigs and 60% of the cattle have died. The owners of the livestock asked to be able to take the animals out of the radioactive territory or to be able to enter and perform some sort of euthanasia. Their requests were turned down for fear of contamination. A few ignored the prohibition and went into the prohibited zone to retrieve their dogs, but they were thus condemning themselves. The water in the sea at 30 kilometres from the nuclear reactor has a concentration of iodine-131 of 88.5 becquerels per litre, the highest recorded value up until now. The radioactivity is 2.2 times the maximum allowed for water in the outflow from nuclear reactors. The ichthyic fauna in the waters of the Pacific for dozens of kilometres near Fukushima is contaminated. The radioactivity will spread in an exponential way when the tiny prey are eaten by other fish. We’ll have to go along to the supermarket with a Geiger counter. We’ll even get used to that.
Fukushima is an updated version of George Orwell ‘s “Animal Farm” where the ones in command are the sewer rats instead of the pigs,. The ones that live by profiting at the expense of of the others, it doesn’t matter whether they are men or beasts. The ones who hide the risks, who use the media to give credit to their hypotheses that expose future generations to a desolate world. The sewer rats, when the air gets heavy, have the ability to hide away in their natural habitat that is the sewers. They disappear from circulation. Where are the unwitting Scajola, Ms Marcegaglia, the Fini of the “latest generation” of Italian reactors, Ms Prestigiacomo, the only Minister of the Environment in the world that after Fukushima declared that nuclear was to go ahead? Where are the rats of the atom like Veronesi and Chicco Testa? Where is that guy with criminal convictions called Scaroni from ENI? Nuclearists of my balls, where are you? If you delude yourselves that to annul the referendum, wait for a year to go by and then you can once more fuck up the Italians with the nuclear chorus you are mistaken. They will never give up (but is it in their interests?). Neither will we.

PS: I have published the book: "Spegniamo il nucleare. Manuale di sopravvivenza alle balle atomiche" {Let’s shut down nuclear. Survival Manual in the face of nuclear lies}. After reading this even the most convinced nuclearist (if he’s honest) will be converted.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:16 PM in Energy | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 12, 2011

Fukushima level 7 incident

Fukushima, travelling in silence
The alarm at Fukushima has got to level 7, the same as for Chernobyl. It was announced by Tepco. When it was said by Greenpeace and other organisations, it was possible to doubt. Now no longer. Fukushima has set off the overtaking indicator in relation to Chernobyl. But after level 7 what else is there? What is waiting for us? Is there a level 8 or a level 9? We’ll only know by living. A nuclear and environmental disaster of this magnitude has never happened in the history of mankind. Quite possible hypotheses are suggesting contamination getting more extensive towards Tokyo. In this case it would be necessary to evacuate 35 million people. Japan would be transformed into a New Atlantis in front of our eyes. The reactor core is in meltdown. It is penetrating the earth and if it meets up with strata containing water it will explode and release into the air a cloud that will make "The Black Cloud " in Fred Hoyle’s novel pale into insignificance. The cloud will go where the wind takes it, to Korea, to China or even to California where traces of radioactivity have already been found in milk. Fukushima is not a Japanese problem, it’s a problem for humanity. The UN has found the time to have Libya bombed, but not to tackle the consequences of Fukushima. The world is dominated by lobbies chasing filthy lucre. The nuclear industry gives a good return, so good that Fukushima has disappeared from the news. It’s not nice to talk about death at home, it makes the customers run away as well as the advertisers, like ENI and Enel, for example, or the swarm of enterprises referring to Scajola and Ms Marcegaglia. Part of Japan has died forever. It’s disturbing to hear the word: “forever”. We hear it but instinctively we resist it. We don’t believe it. Today we are publishing a Japanese video, a journey in the hell around Fukushima, where everything is silence, an immense nuclear cemetery without signs of life, for dozens and dozens of kilometres.

Ernesto Burgio and Angelo Baracca have sent me a letter against the affirmations of Veronesi, the irresponsible sponsor of the PDminusL of nuclear power, as well as being one of their former senators. Veronesi must resign from Agenzia per la sicurezza nucleare italiana {the Italian Agency for nuclear safety}. Let him do it for us and for his past.

Veronesi’s air of ostentatious superiority
The interview that Veronesi gave to La Stampa leaves you gobsmacked for the air of ostentatious superiority with which the professor lets himself go with affirmations without supporting scientific evidence, risking to make an extremely complex topic seem trite and by conditioning public opinion with his own “authority” when public opinion is ever more obliged to suffer the media attacks from the powerful nuclear lobby.


Grillo is back

Beppe Grillo is back - Tour 2011 (DVD e libro)
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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 08:26 PM in Energy | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 03, 2011

Nuclear incidents in France

Interview with Charlotte Mijeon
The blog has interviewed Charlotte Mijeon of the French association called "Sortir du nucléaire", a federation of 875 French anti-nuclear groups with 35,000 people associated. It’s in France that the game against nuclear power is won or lost. France without nuclear power is like having Europe without nuclear power. The mechanism adopted in France to convince the citizens of the ineluctability of nuclear power is the same as that recently adopted in Italy: lies after lies told by those who have already sold themselves and money upon money for advertising and to provide fodder for the newspapers. Fukushima is making Chernobyl pale into insignificance; it’s not possible to bury the dead, the radius of the territory that is radioactive is slowly getting bigger and getting closer to Tokyo and the water-bearing strata below the reactors are recording “abnormal” levels of radioactivity as has been declared by Tepco itself. There’s a figure for radioactive iodine recorded in the sea water that is a good 4,385 times higher than the legal limit. In the face of this immense disaster, whose consequences are still not understandable, the Italian newspapers, financed with our taxes, keep quiet and they discuss Fukushima after page 20.
PS: The "nuclear faces" of the Opposition who absented themselves for the voting to bring together the referendum with the local elections are: Capano, Cimadoro, Ciriello, D'Antona, Farina, Fassino, Fedi, Gozi, Madia, Mastromauro, Porcino, and Samperi.
- Download the ”Nuclear faces” flier and pass it on
- Take part in "Spegni il nucleare" {Turn off nuclear} on Facebook

Interview with Charlotte Mijeon of “Sortir du nucléaire

Blog: Viewed from Italy, it seems that all French people are in favour of nuclear energy. Is that right?
Charlotte Mijeon: No, it’s not right. I would say that most French people are critical of nuclear energy. And they are even more since the accident at Fukushima. And there are few people, very few people who are giving their support to nuclear energy. What is giving the impression that people are in favour of nuclear energy is the fact that there’s a strong lobby, with really powerful propaganda that has the objective of financing loads of advertising on all the TV channels and everywhere else. And even the people have been subject to so much “brain washing” that they have the idea that yes, nuclear energy isn’t very good, but what can we do? And the problem is that many people don’t know that alternatives exist.

Nuclear incidents in France
Blog: In France, have there been accidents in the nuclear reactors?
CM: Nothing on the scale of Fukushima, this is sure. There have been some significant events. In particular, three years ago at the Tricastin nuclear reactor where 75 litres of contaminated water ended up in a river. It was serious contamination. The episodes or the incidents at nuclear power stations are not well known.


The Republic of Niger contaminated
Blog: Can you tell us something about the contamination in the Republic of Niger due to the extraction of uranium by France?
CM: France has been extracting uranium from Niger since the 1960s. You come into a country, pollute anything, take the resources, leaving nothing and without saying anything to the population. You just leave pollution. There are two big mines in Niger.


Grillo is back

Beppe Grillo is back - Tour 2011 (DVD e libro)
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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 08:07 PM in Energy | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

March 25, 2011

The children from Chernobyl

Interview with Sergio Bollini, President of the “Associazione La Rondine”
The apocalyptic countdown clock was started up at 23.53 in the period after the second world war. It’s said that at midnight the world would end as a result of a nuclear war. Unlike an ordinary clock whose hands only go forward, its hands have been going both forward and backward. Ordinary time doesn’t exist for the destruction of humanity. Today that clock is indicating 23.54, six minutes to midnight. In a single situation it arrived at a minute from the final chimes of midnight, during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, but the resolution of the crisis was so fast that the clock keeper didn’t have time to move the hands of the clock forward.
Since 1945 in Alamogordo in New Mexico when the first nuclear test was carried out more than two thousand nuclear war heads have been exploded in the world. The first two, "Little Boy" and "Fat Man" anticipated the modern humanitarian aid in Iraq and in Afghanistan. In fact, History has taught us that Hiroshima and Nagasaki with their hundreds of thousands of civilian victims (above all women and children) were useful to avoid a greater number of victims among the American military for the conquest of Japan. A necessary sacrifice.
The nuclear warheads are the sweeties and the “tests” have been going on all over the place from the Pacific islands, favoured by France and the United States, to the internal regions of Asia, the nuclear destination of China and of the USSR, but also Great Britain that has nuclearised a few remote regions of Australia. In the period after the war, the terrorists bombed themselves, without managing to destroy themselves. Seen by some alien civilisation, we must seem like tenacious lemmings that continue to throw themselves over the precipice. We have survived the atomic bombs, but the apocalyptic clock could not have foreseen that the end of humanity could happen because of the civil use of nuclear, the so-called “good nuclear”. There are about 500 plants in the world. There have been thousands of incidents. The most important ones: Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima. With the increase in the number of power stations, just by a simple probability calculation, there’s an increase in the number of incidents. The next incident could be the last. Each power station moves the hands of the clock forward by a few seconds. Every source of international tension, increases the possibility of terrorist acts against nuclear power plants. During the last world war, nuclear power stations didn’t exist, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. Who will protect the power stations if there’s conflict?
The apocalyptic clock has to be stopped. When a war finishes, you can start again, but after Chernobyl the life of an immense territory is finished forever.
There’s an association called La Rondine {the swallow}, that helps children living in Belarus at least for a few months a year to flee from the radiation that is present after 25 years even outside the forbidden area that is 30km in diameter. The children can be the guests of an Italian family in the Summer. And as has been described by Sergio Bollini in the video, it’s an experience that changes your life.

Grillo is back

Beppe Grillo is back - Tour 2011 (DVD e libro)
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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:28 PM in Energy | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

March 24, 2011

European nuclear referendum


Ms Merkel has declared that “The sooner Germany exits from the nuclear programme the better.” Germany has 17 reactors that will be turned off nine years early, in 2026 and no longer in 2035 as was the plan before Fukushima. In the next three months, all the German power stations will be subjected to a "stress test" and seven reactors will be turned off for maintenance and one definitively. Another five will be deactivated in May for checking. If mathematics is not an opinion, as the nuclearists would like it to be (on this topic is there someone still blathering on about the safe nuclear of the “really new” generation?) Germany by this summer, a world economic power, will have available just 4 reactors (17 - 8 - 5 = 4). How will it be able to survive? With the development of renewable energy that already today is responsible for 17% of the electricity produced (nuclear is at 22%).
There are hundreds of nuclear reactors in Europe. France is the top nuclear nation. France has 19 power stations with 58 reactors. In 2009 nuclear energy generated 75.17% of its electrical energy needs, the most in the world. The other nations arrive at 30% at the most. An EPR reactor is under construction in Normandy, the second after the one in Finland at Olkiluoto that has Enel as a partner with 12.5% of the investment. It has doubled the costs and the time to construct. France has a development model based on nuclear energy, on a nuclear war programme that is closely connected to the civil one, a model kept alive thanks to the taxes of the French people and the supply of Uranium from Niger by the State company Areva (see Greenpeace "AREVA’S dirty little secret"). After Fukushima, France is left with the nuclear match in its hand and with France also Europe. Two irreconcilable development models are in front of us, one connected to renewables and energy saving, represented by Germany, and another one, a nuclear one by France. On this topic Europe has to make a pronouncement by means of a collective referendum. Europeans have to decide on Europe’s energy policy and on their future, not just the individual governments. At the western frontier of Italy there are 7 French nuclear power stations from Super Phénix to Marcoule. Has anyone asked us for permission? If a regular aircraft, as happened on 11 September, were to be hijacked and flown into a power station, part of France and of Italy would become a radioactive desert.
Japan, when it gets back on its feet will abandon nuclear energy. World stock markets have already done so. Nuclear industries have plummeted. The lobbies won’t allow themselves to be put aside so easily. They control the media that has buried Fukushima with the body still warm. Europe needs statesmen, not business people that are Sarkozy-like or Berlusconi-like. We are at war and we will win.

PS: The "nuclear faces" of the Opposition who absented themselves for the voting to bring together the referendum with the local elections are: Capano, Cimadoro, Ciriello, D'Antona, Farina, Fassino, Fedi, Gozi, Madia, Mastromauro, Porcino, Samperi.
- Download the ”Nuclear faces” flier and pass it on
- Take part in "Spegni il nucleare" {Turn off nuclear} on Facebook

Grillo is back

Beppe Grillo is back - Tour 2011 (DVD e libro)
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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 08:51 PM in Energy | Comments (4) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

March 18, 2011

Nuclear: we are at war!

Nuclear: we are at war!

Beppe Grillo - What’s talking there on TV is not Italy, it’s the dead, we when we were alive in 1987, we said “no”. The dead ones are continuing to talk. I hear discussions from these folk, dead folk like Veronesi, Fini, and Casini. This Prestigiacomo is the only Minister of the Environment in the world who is talking in favour of this technology, the only one in the world. Germany has stopped. Switzerland is thinking about it. Belgium even. Australia that has almost 30% of the uranium mines ...
Annozero - What are the reasons for the relaunch of the nuclear option in Italy? Why is it happening?
Beppe Grillo - For money. We are doing 5 power stations. We want to do 5 nuclear power stations in France because France has 511 billion euro of our debt. We have sold them our debt and you know very well that when you sell debt to a person, this person becomes master of your life. We, dear ladies and gentlemen, have sold off popular sovereignty through the debt, 511 billion of debt in exchange for 4 or 5 power stations done here. This electrical energy is to be used to create buildings that lose 70% of their energy. We could in fact make buildings that create energy, they make extra energy, and thus creating an energy network. This is intelligence. There’s no point in doing nuclear. Intelligence is the energy of the future. It’s intelligence. The citizens create energy. They communicate it; they pass it on to each other. I create an extra Kilowatt; I pass it on to my neighbour who buys it, who sells it. It’s us that buy it and sell it, like the Internet.
Annozero - However what the pro-nuclearists are saying is: in Italy it’ll be third generation power stations and the risks will be limited.
Beppe Grillo -But what are words? Third generation, fourth generation? But if we didn’t even manage to create an evacuation plan for L’Aquila and there were all the tools to be able to do it, because there were forecasts, previous earthquakes and everything! This nuclear is only cement, towers, cement based on debts. I prefer this country to go under rather than have 5 nuclear power stations in exchange for not going bust! Stop! Enough! I can show you how tomorrow morning you can create a building at 3,500 metres above sea level on a glacier, as the Swiss have done, at the Zurich Polytechnic, just with solar energy, a building 8 storeys high, with 128 bed spaces, with hot water, with the temperature at 20°, with 30° below zero, just with solar energy at 3,500 metres on the glacier of Monte Rosa, OK? In 35 days!
You don’t know anything. You have to get the information. You have the duty to be informed on this topic and you must have the duty to come out into the streets and start to get ready to formally protest for yourselves and for your children! We are at war. No one can get exemption, even you journalists, dear gentle people, you who are hack writers, with this fxxking core that is in meltdown, thousands of people are dying. Still more thousands will die. Most of the people that will die, that have died, have still to die, the ones associated with Chernobyl, the peak number of deaths is still to come. We have something that we are not managing to control and we place it in whose hands? In those of Tronchetti Provera? In whose? In the hands of these people? But have you seen who they are? And Caltagirone and Ligresti, who are they? This riffraff of the Left, of the Right who do clean nuclear, safe nuclear of the fourth generation. Take video footage; keep the clips, that’ll be for our grandchildren. The film clips of these people we have to hang on to because in a year, two years, three years we will go and look at them again and then we will understand who we have had to deal with! Today we are the only ones in the world, together with Erdogan’s Turkey, Berlusconi and Erdogan who want to construct nuclear power stations, the only ones in the world! These people have a mental illness, they are mentally ill!


PS: The "nuclear faces" of the Opposition who absented themselves for the voting to bring together the referendum with the local elections are: Capano, Cimadoro, Ciriello, D'Antona, Farina, Fassino, Fedi, Gozi, Madia, Mastromauro, Porcino, Samperi.
- Download the ”Nuclear faces” flier and pass it on
- Take part in "Spegni il nucleare" {Turn off nuclear} on Facebook

Grillo is back

Beppe Grillo is back - Tour 2011 (DVD and book)
On pre-sale with a 10% discount until 23 March.
your copy today.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 06:38 PM in Energy | Comments (5) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

March 15, 2011

Turn off nuclear

The nuclearists
On 11 March 2011 the world changed. Nothing will be like it was before. We have entered the post-nuclear era. A new era in which there will no longer be space for the delirium of energy from the atom. Japan has sacrificed itself for us, certainly not voluntarily, but that’s what’s happened. If the nuclear nightmare that has been with us since the end of the second world war, from Chernobyl to Three Mile Island, ceases (and it will cease) we owe it to the sacrifice of millions of people fleeing the Fukoshima cloud. A biblical exodus. Not even imaginable. Japan risks becoming the island that’s not there, a place that you don’t enter and you don’t exit from. A nuclear trap. If even the Reagan aircraft carrier has abandoned its humanitarian mission, which fleet will rush to help the population of the East of Japan? Contaminated Japanese merchandise can no longer leave the country.
The clouds are not stopping. Perhaps they will arrive as far as Europe if the wind blows towards the West. The feeling of what has happened is too big, too deep to be able to grab hold of it, but it’s possible to get an intuition about it. People have immediately understood that nuclear has finished for ever. A few Heads of State have already taken up a position against power stations. They know that continuing would be the end of their political career. It’s happening in Germany, in Switzerland, even in Australia that is in possession of 30% of the uranium in the world. Italy, in this scenario, is playing the part of the Japanese guy lost on a Pacific island who is continuing to fight, 10 years after the end of the war. Characters that will soon fall into the oblivion of the ridiculous with their nuclearist affirmations. Ms Prestigiacomo is the only Minister of the Environment in the world that wants new nuclear power stations. She together with Testa, Veronesi, Berlusconi, Cicchitto, Scaroni, Maroni, Casini, Fini, Frattini and the fused hack writers of the nuclear reactor core are like the Fascists going around in a fascist uniform after 25 April. Their declarations are to be saved for the future, their faces, the videos, their discussion strategies are the evidence of a precise moment, the final one. Tomorrow, in a few days or in a few months, they will not be able to allow themselves to shoot their mouths off. The only reason why they want the nuclear option is the 500 billion of public debt in the hands of France. EDF is the brains behind the crime, Berlusconi and the Confindustria are the interested parties carrying out the crime.
This political class will be swept away by the referendum on 12 and 13 June. Starting this week there’s an initiative that will go on until the referendum: “Turn off nuclear”. I want to involve millions of Italians. There are no alibis. Maroni will be able to do a solitary “bunga bunga” with the quorum. On 29 April there’ll be the annual general meeting for ENEL of the nuclear power stations. I’ll be there. The blog will be there with “direct streaming”. They will never give up (but is it in their interests?). Neither will we.

Grillo is back

Beppe Grillo is back - Tour 2011 (DVD and book)
On pre-sale with a 10% discount until 23 March.
your copy today.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:39 PM in Energy | Comments (5) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

November 16, 2010

“Limit” and Frank Schätzing’s lunar space elevator

If you have never heard of Helium-3 and of lunar space elevatorsi, of Frank Schätzing, a writer of world-wide renown, he’ll seem like a gentleman with a great imagination. He reminds me of Jules Verne and his incredible predictions (for our great-grandparents) all of which (or almost all) later turned into reality. In “"Limit"”, Frank describes the end of the oil age in a really realistic way and it seems that I am hearing the story of another world, of another humanity. We, who on the other hand, are actually that “world” and that “humanity” are not aware of the reality that is changing and that we like schizoids continue to repeat the usual behaviours, the usual errors, starting from nuclear power. What will the post-oil world be like – the one described by Frank? A bit worse? A bit better? Certainly completely different from now.

Interview with Frank Schätzing, author of “Limit”

The end of oil and the end of the moon
Frank Schätzing: My name is Frank Schätzing. I am the author of “The Swarm” and "Limit".
Blog: Following its release in Italy in 2005 “Il quinto giorno” {English title: The Swarm}, became a best seller. Five years later you are back here in Italy with “Limit”, which in Germany sold half a million copies in just one month.
In Italy they are busy reintroducing nuclear energy while in Germany they are wanting to get rid of it. So why didn’t you think of this energy source before going to the moon to find Helium-3?
Frank Schätzing: In the first place, I have to say that In Germany at the moment we reintroduce nuclear energy, it’s not just Italy. And I think in my opinion, this is a mistake, because we have to spend much more energy and resources and money in alternative technologies, so at the moment we have a situation that for the next 12-15 years we will have nuclear power in Germany. But I think all in all this is a run-out model It doesn’t matter if we keep the contract going for another 12 years for 15 years. It’s a question of a run-out model. It hasn’t got any future. So far, talking about the future, talking about nuclear power, is to my opinion, bullshit.
Blog: Still in “Il quinto giorno”, you spoke about some sort of catastrophic event, a Tsunami. The book was released in 2005, so while you were busy writing it you could certainly not have known that a real Tsunami would hit the Indian Ocean Countries in December 2004 and mow down tens of thousands of victims. The end of oil Limit hides dark portents for humanity?
Frank Schätzing: First of all, when I wrote the "The Swarm, " going back to "The Swarm, " I took a tsunami because a tsunami was an interesting phenomenon I had read about and I could use for the story. It was just by chance that not one year later a real tsunami occurred.
So if you write about the real world and if you write about oil, for instance, you have to face that oil is running out, and we might have another 10, 20, 30, 50 years with oil, but then it will be gone. We have to look out for new energies and alternatives energies. So far I'm not a prophet to say that the age of oil will end, and I think it will end in the middle of this century.
Blog: Once upon a time, “Science Fiction” writers used to depict the future as something that was very far and very different from their reality, often displaying exceptional farsightedness by describing things that would eventually go on to become genuine scientific and technological discoveries. In “Limit”, this farsightedness almost appears to merge with the present, namely 2025, and above all, the reality that emerges is almost one of worldwide degradation, which is where we already find ourselves now. Is this so?
Frank Schätzing: If you write about the near future, 2025 in this case, you will have to face that things don't change so rapidly. Usually in science fiction, people are thinking about space ships and flying cars and about society which has totally changed. But within a few years, within 15 years, that won't happen.
I think the near future will bring a lot of good things, a lot of bad things. The danger, to my opinion, is that there will be a social divide, a medical divide, a digital divide, so that parts of mankind will develop in different directions, much more than it is today.
There will be the rich part, the wealthy part of mankind, who will have all. And there will be the poorer part of mankind, which will suffer. I think the danger, to me, is this will go on, will get stronger. In the near future I describe, we have that phenomenon, but it is not hopeless, because it is also a future in which people try to get new resources, from the moon for instance.
In which scientific research is done in all parts of the world. In which the Chinese have a big influence on the economy. In which the Chinese are no longer the servants, they are the creative brains. And so far there's a lot of progress in that near future, but of course also a lot of dangers.
Blog: Whenever there is talk of the future, in recent years many artists and writers have been depicting it as catastrophic. Many novels speak of extinction or a return to semi-prehistoric conditions. Do you also exhibit this same kind of anxiety in your novel?
Frank Schätzing: It is interesting, at the moment we have all over the world, especially in the wealthy nations, we have a mood which is sort of disastrous. We're expecting disasters, we're expecting catastrophes. I don't believe that this will happen; it's not my vision that we bomb ourselves back into the past and that we go back to prehistoric circumstance.
I think of course there will be multinational and global conflicts in the future, maybe some even worse than they have been in the past. But on the other hand, mankind develops. And never before have we had a such technological life level as we have at the moment.
So I don't agree to that disaster prophets. But if you go to the movies at the moment, look at "2012" by Roland Emmerich. Look at the "The Road" with Viggo Mortenson. Look at "I Am Legend" with Will Smith and so on. There are a lot of fantasies about destroyed cities and about destroyed mankind. We should think more positive.
Blog: Would you define “Limit” as an invitation to humanity to immediately start thinking seriously about the energy crisis?
Frank Schätzing: Of course we have to think about the energy crisis, because there is an energy crisis. And it is obvious to us that oil is running out. At the moment we have a situation that I think oil will be running out or we will stop the oil industry the moment we have brought the last drop of oil from the bottom of the earth.
But to my opinion, it would be much better to leave the oil in the earth and change much quicker to the alternative energies. We have wind power, we have solar power, we have a lot of different measures. On the other hand, there is a real option on the moon, which is interesting. As far as we could get there and bring it back to earth, we really could use environmental friendly with helium3, that stuff that is on the moon, up there on the moon, infusion reactors.
And yes, I think we have to do everything to change, to get back from coal, and to get back from nuclear power and from oil to alternative energies. It's the subject of the book and it's my personal subject as well.
Blog: Is the importation of Helium-3 from the moon by means of an elevator perhaps just your way of saying that man will be unable to find a way to overcome the next Energy crisis?
Frank Schätzing: I think we have an energy crisis at the moment, and it will get worse, insofar that we have nations now like China and India that need much more energy than they needed before. And yes, of course, we need new technologies. One of these technologies could be the space elevator.
It sounds a little bit like a lunatic ideas, but in fact, all the big agencies, the space agencies, are working on it. They've tried to figure out how to build a space elevator, and it's possible, it is. So I think we should spend a little money on that, because with a space elevator we would really be able to produce new energy from the moon.
Blog: In “Limit”, the economic lobbyists, the politicians, the economists and private researchers govern the equilibrium of the planet. The Web is something that pervades reality, but it is also a way to dominate and control it. A locus of power, but also a locus of dissent against power. What will the Internet be like in 2025?
Frank Schätzing: I think the Internet will develop. At the moment we've got a two dimensional Internet. We're changing to get a three dimensional Internet which will provide, more than today, virtual worlds in which we can live, mentally live.
By that, the Internet will much more become an alternative reality in which to live. I think it will much more than today change our way of living together, especially concerning global connected communication between all people. So far, it will doing a lot of good things to us. We can communicate much better than we could in the past. We can meet in virtual rooms.
On the other hand, of course it's an instrument of control, and we have to take care that into doesn't develop into some kind of big brother, which at the moment it is a little bit, but not that much.
Blog: In “Limit”, there are two main characters, namely Julian Orley, an American multi-billionaire who invented the elevator to the moon, and Owen Jericho, the cyber-detective who is intent on investigating the disappearance of a Chinese dissident. Do you see yourself as either of these characters?
Frank Schätzing: In the first place, I have to say that characters in the book are fictional. So far they are themselves and not me. But of course there's no doubt there always a little bit from the author, even the villains, by the way. And I've personally notices that Julian Orley, the billionaire, has got some of my personal likes and dislikes. So he's a little similar to me. But as well is Owen Jericho 100% opposite of him.
What I like about Julian Orley is that he is a visionary. That he wants to cross borders. That we wants to widen his horizon and mankind's horizon. That he's really looking for solutions for the planet. This is something that I adore. And he likes to live, which is something I also to.
And about Owen Jericho, that he never gives up, though he has to fight his inner demons. And I know sometimes it is not so easy to fight your inner demons. One of those inner demons can be the boy or the girl being in your adolescent years, which is still there somewhere. And I like about Owen Jericho that he is so courageous. He is not a simple character, but he goes through all.
Blog: The United States and China are two Countries that are at the centre of the geo-political scene, as is the case in “Limit”. Your novel also touches on Alaska, which together with the Arctic and following the thinning of the polar ice-caps, have become the focus of a new Cold War. If there were still to be crude oil available in 2025, what would your next novel envisage?
Frank Schätzing: My next novel may be something totally different from what I wrote in the past. I haven't got an idea about my next novel. But what I can say is that the Chinese and the Americans will be the two power nations in the near future. And in 2025 we will of course still have oil; I think oil will be running out at the middle of the century.
So at the moment we see that like the Chinese, that need a lot of energy, tried to get the last oil resources. And of course it's a competition with the USA. And it will lead naturally to new conflicts. Imagine them going to the Antarctic, who will be the first one? And of course that will be, I think, a lot of conflicts will come onto us because of oil.
Blog: Why has no one ever asked themselves why we should reduce Energy consumption rather than simply go out and find new sources and greater quantities? Why not simply use less of it? Does the constant search for Energy make any sense? Should we not stop and think about how we use the available energy?
Frank Schätzing: I think this is a blue eyed position. We try to reduce energy, each of us does. We build cars that don't need that much fuel. We build cars that will run by electricity. I think in all the wealthy nations at the moment people try to reduce their need of energy. But that doesn't change the situation.
We have six billion people on planet earth, and mankind grows and grows. Experts say that in 2050, we will have 8 10 billion people on planet earth. All these people need energy. And now there are upcoming nations who didn't need that much, like China and India. And they as nations who get a new position in the world, they will need much more energy than before.
So even if each human being on planet earth would drastically reduce its need for energy, still the global need for energy will grow. So we haven't got a choice, we have to find new resources.
Blog: If you were to imagine the end of the human race, how do you think it would happen and when?
Frank Schätzing: I think the end of the human race will come when planet earth will touch the sun. So it will last for a very long time. I don't believe that mankind will vanish so quickly.
It was nice meeting you folks on the Internet. I hope very much seeing you again soon. Maybe in Italy, maybe in Germany. Bye bye.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 05:59 PM in Energy | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

September 29, 2010

We are all involved. Lester Brown at 5 Star Woodstock

We are all involved. Lester Brown at 5 Star Woodstock
The world is in our hands. The solutions to avoid an ecological catastrophe exist. To apply them is only a matter of political will. This is great news. However the time left to intervene is very limited, this is what is explained to us by Lester Brown, one of the most influential environmentalists in the world. If our generation doesn’t intervene, our offspring will no longer have the possibility to intervene. This is what politics should be dealing with, not things like prostitutes in Parliament, and Tulliani’s house in Monte Carlo. The electricity generating stations using coal should be closed down, now and forever. It’s already happening in the world; let it start to happen in Italy as well. Get organised. Get connected to the international campaign groups that have already achieved the closure of dozens of coal powered generating stations. Get informed and start shaking things up for your children.

Interview with Lester R. Brown, environmentalist, economist and writer:

A queue of cars a hundred miles long

Greetings Cesena and congratulations for the launch of Woodstock Five-Star. Even though not physically present, I am with you in spirit. My name is Lester Brown. I work on research and the production of documents relating to environmental issues and I am the president of the Earth Policy Institute, a no-profit institute dealing with environmental research in Washington, DC. A short while ago we read in the newspapers and saw on the TV a traffic jam in China. There was a queue of cars 100 miles long and it lasted 9 days. You cannot even imagine it. It can seem comical. But the people blocked in that traffic jam, for nine days, didn’t find it at all funny.


PS: On 29 September, the Friends of Beppe Grillo in Rome will stage a “sit in” in front of Montecitorio from 10:00 am until 8:00 pm to remind people that DEMOCRACY IS NOT BOUGHT and that on 8 September 2007, 350,000 citizens signed a proposed law for a CLEAN PARLIAMENT that for too long has been forgotten in a drawer.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:39 PM in Energy | Comments (0) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

June 09, 2010

Nuclear is not the answer

Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer
To sit down and have a discussion with Italian nuclearists is not just useless, but counter-productive. It’s the classic story of the one who starts up a discussion with an imbecile. Anyone observing from the outside sees two imbeciles talking. Nuclear power was turned down in a referendum, full stop. It cannot be re-introduced by lobbyists and political lackeys, The people of Italy, who are used to putting up with almost anything, don’t want it from an instinct of survival. In the country with the most powerful mafias in the world who would manage the waste products? Nuclear costs more than any other type of energy: who will pay for it? In a few decades, uranium will run out and its price will go up from one week to another. It is the LEAST renewable type of energy in the world. Helen Caldicott, the author of:” Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer to Global Warming Or Anything Else”, explains the dangers of nuclear power for our offspring and theirs. Unemployed, with no pension and nuclearised.

Interview with Helen Caldicott

H. Caldicott: My name is Helen Caldicott. I’m Australian. I’m a paediatrician a children’s specialist and for four years I have been involved in the medical implications of nuclear power an nuclear war, as well as being on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and practising medicine as well.

Blog: Why are there still so many countries in the world, like UK, that are continuing to include the nuclear option in the energy mix?

H. Caldicott: Well a lot of people are quite ignorant about the nuclear fuel cycle and the radiation effects within the body and all the side effects from nuclear power from uranium mining to milling to enrichment to building the reactor to the reactor producing large amounts of routine radioactive emissions that produce radiation that then concentrates in the human food chain and then in breast milk and then bones and the lungs and also radioactive waste which lasts for about half a million years and over time will absolutely contaminate the food chain so people will be eating radioactive food and babies are 10 to 20 times more sensitive to radiation than adults. Foetuses thousands of times. And people don’t understand that this is a medical problem and most people do not have the biological information to understand it. Hence the nuclear power industry has been pushing a huge propaganda campaign saying that they are the answer to global warming because they produce no carbon dioxide. They actually do produce a large amount of carbon dioxide as well as they will produce epidemics of cancer, leukaemia and genetic disease in all future generations.

Blog: So how much do nuclear power cost considering all the costs that society pays?

H. Caldicott: Well a nuclear reactor itself costs about 12 to 15 billion dollars now to build but that and all the other parts of it, the enriching of uranium, the huge amounts of insurance that is all paid for by the government, the government subsidises the whole nuclear power industry – the costs of the medical problems down the time frame are not included. The costs of looking after patients, particularly children with cancer and genetic disease are never including. The costs of storing radioactive waste for half a million years are never included. The transportation of radioactive waste is never included. So that it's so much cheaper to conduct or build renewable energy sources like wind and solar and geothermal and co generation and high grade efficiency in the use of electricity.

Blog: Is there a safe nuclear power option at all?

H. Caldicott: No, absolutely not. There are absolutely no safe nuclear power options. If you read my book, "Nuclear Power is Not the Answer to Global Warming," you'll understand why when you have read the book. There is no safe nuclear power. And equally you have to talk about costs to build nuclear power plants, but I'm sure Berlusconi doesn't understand what I'm talking about.

Blog: So who wants nuclear power?

H. Caldicott: Pardon? Who wants nuclear power?

Blog: Yeah, who wants it?

H. Caldicott: The politicians have been dealt a big a propaganda campaign and maybe some money, I don't know. The politicians are scientifically and medically illiterate. In other words, they understand no science. Like Berlusconi, what science does he understand? Does he understand medicine? How long it takes to get cancer once you're irradiated, like five to six years. Does he know the results for Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
So most politicians are corporate shills, if you will, of the nuclear power industry. Like they are of the oil industry and the coal industry. They go where the money is, not where the people's future and well being and health is.

Blog: What about military lobbyists behind the nuclear option?

H. Caldicott: Well, of course nuclear power was founded in the Manhattan Project to produce plutonium to make bombs. And then nuclear power was an offshoot of that, because the people who built the bombs felt so guilty about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where they killed over 200, 000 people in a flash of light, that they thought if they could harness the atoms for peaceful purposes they would feel less guilt. I knew many of those men; I worked closely with them. They hated nuclear weapons, and I can tell you that their guilt was not assuaged by the time they died. And they knew, they knew, how dangerous it was and is. They're all in their graves now.
You should also know that every nuclear power plant makes 250 kilos of plutonium a year. Plutonium lasts for half a million years, and you only need five kilos to make yourself a nuclear weapon. So any country that has a reactor can make over a hundred nuclear weapons a year if they want.
That's why people are worried about Iraq. That's how Israel made its bombs. That's how Britain made its bombs. That's how Pakistan and India made their bombs. That's how China made its bombs. Nuclear weapons and nuclear power are part of the same industry. Once you've got nuclear power plants, you can have nuclear bombs.

Blog: Is there at least one example....

H. Caldicott: Does Berlusconi want nuclear bombs?

Blog: Is there at least one example in the world of correct management of nuclear waste?

H. Caldicott: No. No country has solved the problem of nuclear waste, nor will any country ever solve the problem. Because whatever you put it in copper, steel, concrete within 50 or 100 years, that will rust and break apart and nuclear waste will leak out into the environment, the water, concentrate in food, milk, meat, vegetables. And people will be eating radioactive food. Their babies will be born deformed, as babies are being born deformed now in Fallujah and Basra in Iraq, where they used radioactive weapons and still do. In fact in Fallujah, the doctors are telling mothers not to have any babies, because almost all of them are born grossly deformed, either with no brain, or single eyes, or no arms. I mean, that's what the future holds.

Blog: What should common people, normal people, citizens, do discard the option of nuclear power? Any options for that lobby?

H. Caldicott: Yeah. First, they must be well informed. It's imperative that they understand the information. I have to suggest I know my book has been translated into Italian that everyone who listens to this should read "Nuclear Power is Not the Answer to Global Warming." And once they've read that, they need to spend some days with their feelings, working out what they're going to do. Truly we need a revolution against this really ghastly, wicked nuclear industry. It's much worse than tobacco, much worse than smoking, much worse than asbestos.
People can use their democracy by going to see their politicians and educating them. Take doctors with them dressed in their white coats with their stethoscopes. Go and see Berlusconi; take over Berlusconi's office.
Italians are good, I think. They're passionate people, they really care about life. They can work out what they're going to do to make sure their country closes down all the nuclear power plants.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 06:41 PM in Energy | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

November 21, 2009

Nuclear power will never be approved

Greenpeace Director, Giuseppe Onufrio, on nuclear power

There are only two kinds of people that are in favour of nuclear power, namely those who are ill-informed and those that stand to profit from it. There is no such thing as a safe nuclear power station. Not a single insurance company anywhere in the world has ever been willing to insure any nuclear power station. No safe system has yet been discovered for disposing of radioactive waste. Nuclear power is not cheap and the costs involved in the construction, operation and decommissioning of a nuclear power station far exceed the value of the power that it generates. Nuclear power is always paid for by the country’s citizens, either in the form of an extra levy on their utility bills or via their taxes. Nuclear power is generated using Uranium, a limited resource that will be exhausted within the next 50 years. Only 4/5 countries in the world have Uranium deposits, and Italy is not one of them. France, the Country that wants to export its nuclear industry (funded by the Government) to Italy, has already failed in Finland and continues to have nuclear accidents occurring in their own Country. Have you heard enough yet? No? Well then I will carry on. Italians voted against nuclear power in a referendum and it is impossible to go against the will of the people. If someone wanted to build any new power stations, another referendum would have to be held first. A non-Parliament, consisting of non-parliamentarians not elected by the citizens has made a law regarding nuclear power. The only ones that this Government has bothered to consult are Confidustria and Enel. Power from renewable resources has overtaken nuclear power around the world. The United States has decided not to build any more nuclear power stations and is now investing in solar power and wind power. Should any nuclear power station in Italy, let’s say at Trino Vercellese, explode like the Chernobyl plant did, and no one can guarantee that this would never happen, life as we know it would disappear in our Country for tens of thousands of years.
Together with Greenpeace, I am currently going around to the public libraries and schools to explain just how senseless nuclear power really is. Again together with Greenpeace, I have produced a documentary entitled "Terra reloaded", which includes the opinions of renowned global experts, such as Lester Brown and Jeremy Rifkin, with regard to the future of this planet. Any schools that request a copy of this video from the Blog will receive one free of charge.

Interview with Giuseppe Onufrio, Director of Greenpeace Italia.

Giuseppe Onufrio: "In Finland and in France they are busy building these new power stations known as Epr, which are a French design. In this regard, a few months ago we discovered that these power stations have never been approved due to the fact that their emergency systems do not meet the minimum nuclear safety requirements, which are? The emergency system may not be physically located in the same area as the normal operating systems because, in the event of an accident occurring, if one of the systems should fail, then the backup system would also fail.
The first indication came in a letter dated December last year: the Finnish safety authority wrote to the French manufacturer, Areva, complaining about the fact that the people attending the meetings were incompetent with regard to nuclear safety and stating that: “notwithstanding the fact that we ordered you to re-design the emergency system, this has never been done”.
In April, this letter was leaked and Greenpeace lodged a complaint in this regard. In June 2009, the British Nuclear Safety Agency drafted a document, which, in addition to stating that this type of power station, both the French and the American Ap 1000 design manufactured by Westinghouse, would not survive a direct hit in the event of an aircraft crash, also reiterated the Finnish claims, namely that the emergency system does not meet the minimum nuclear safety requirements regarding the independence of the two systems.
On the 15th October, the French Nuclear Safety Agency wrote to the manufacturer, saying the same thing. On the 22nd October, no less than three Nuclear Safety Agencies issued a joint communiqué stating that it would be impossible to approve the current plans for the Epr reactor. Yet the power station is already under construction and our politicians are trying to fool you into believing that we will have a plant that is the epitome of safety while, in reality, both in the country in which the power plant is being built, and in England, which is itself interested in replacing its own ageing power plants with these new ones, they are saying that “The project cannot be approved and it is going to take at least two or three years to get back on track”. Meanwhile, back in Finland, the Finnish Safety Authority has discovered no less than 2,100 non-compliances at the Olkiluoto construction site, where one of the two reactors in question is currently under construction. Furthermore, in October it was discovered that the welds on the power station’s cooling circuit, which constitutes an extremely important safety system, are not up to the required standard and all further work within the plant was halted. This alone should be enough to convince you that the people we are dealing with are trying to sell us something that doesn’t exist! There is another alternative, however, namely to cut our power consumption in Italy by 20%, thereby saving money. Energy saving really is our first option. Generating power from renewable resources and energy savings could provide three times the amount of power supplied by the four nuclear reactors that Enel wants to build. In this way, we could still achieve the European objectives, which would also result in the creation of numerous jobs. In closing, what I would like to say to anyone who is prepared to listen, is that the German renewable energy sector employs more people than their automotive industry, and the German automotive industry is by no means smaller that the Italian one."

Blog: "Why is there so much insensitivity in our Country when it comes to environmental issues?"

Giuseppe Onufrio: "Apparently not! Just today, Eurisko released a ...(off-mike discussion) in any case, the problem lies with the elite of this Country, the financial and political elites, that prefer to not get involved. I would like to remind you that the issue of global warming is a topic that no longer divides the left and the right wing in the major European Countries, but has also become an industrial objective. In Italy, instead, we have an elite that, in the interests of little lobby groups or little private interests, want to put this Country back on the nuclear energy path while, in certain other Countries, the problem is what to do to keep it going. In Italy, someone who is perhaps currently selling steel or cement would like to get into this business. In reality, this elite has no future vision for our Country and, unfortunately, when a Country has no real vision of its own future, then it also has no real vision of a possible future. We believe that the battle is still ongoing and that we can win it, but there is a hard battle ahead of us, so I believe that in Copenhagen, that is unless Copenhagen fails dismally, Italy could play a leading role because there is no shortage of intelligence and ability in this Country. What is lacking is only a vision of a possible future, albeit an industrial one."

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 04:33 PM in Energy | Comments (5) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

October 28, 2009

The house that consumes zero

How much does your home consume? Energy efficiency in Bolzano
Consume less energy at home without paying anything (or almost!) It’s possible! The zero-consumption house is not utopia. It’s possible to reduce the energy loss by up to 90% by intervening on your home, whether it’s new or old and needing to be restructured. Nearly all Italian buildings, starting from the public ones, are like colanders, from which most of the energy that enters seeps out. The energy revolution is done by getting ALL public buildings up to scratch, starting with the Ministries, NOT with new nuclear power stations. The ecological home has three great advantages: saving on heating, protection of the environment, in particular for the over-heating of the atmosphere, and the VALUE of the home itself. In fact an ecological home is worth more, it’s like buying a car without having to pay for the petrol. And so, dear public administrations, what are you waiting for to imitate the Autonomous Province of Bolzano where I went on an ecological trip?

I’m publishing a letter from Norbert Lantschner, director of CasaClima.

Dear Beppe,
Thank you for taking an interest in the CasaClima project. The historical context in which we are working, calls for a serious reflection from everyone. As is well known, our civilisation is founded on the consumption of energy without which almost nothing of what is a characteristic of our lives would be possible. An energy crisis could produce greater harm than an economic crisis, that can cost the lives of many people, but without being pessimistic, it could cost us our current lifestyle. Without energy, nothing of what we are used to would be possible. As is well known, the building sector is one that is a major consumer of energy, but it is also the sector where it is easiest to take action, given that there already exist all the systems and there’s no need to invent anything new. It would be enough to have a massive application of the energy efficiency concepts and construction techniques, as is shown by the CasaClima project, to make a drastic reduction in global consumption. To do good construction it’s just necessary to have the will and to have communication.
People today choose CasaClima because they know that they are spending their own money well, because as well as having a home, an office, a factory with low maintenance costs, it is also contributing to the protection of the climate. CasaClima was created within a public setting, in the Autonomous Province of Bolzano in 2002, but there was no need for public incentives to set it up on a large scale: it has been enough to give transparency to the market and to communicate the advantages.
This process has brought about the realization of numerous certified buildings with a great reduction in what is consumed and what is emitted. People have freely chosen the class of building in which to live and the amount of money to be spent to stay warm in their own homes, according to their means. The market has adapted. There has been no need for commands from above. And this has been a contribution in relaunching the economy at a local level, creating a regeneration of professionalism and a growth in knowledge and in techniques.
A project by a public body in the interests of everyone, in which it is the citizen who wins, because finally they see their rights protected, as well as an important response for the protection of the climate. The key to the success is the control of all the phases of the building product, by the third party organisation. Every individual certified building has been examined at the planning stage and at the construction stage, before getting the certification with the energy classification. An important right, since anyone who is buying a house is spending money for years and they don’t have to make do with a piece of paper issued by who knows who. Just as for every other quality control system, even in this case, the third party organisation that is above all the interested parties, first gives a guarantee to the citizen.
The buildings that we visited together demonstrate that today, it is possible to construct in an intelligent and aware way, without creating waste. To get the building concerns and the people involved, we have created a “manifesto for sustainability”, an initiative to which anyone can give their support and can gain knowledge and express their own contribution to change. You can’t change if you don’t want to change. We can’t delegate to others the task of taking action; it’s not enough to complain about the absence of regulations. On the contrary, we can express our participation in the sustainability by promoting a “light-touch” and solar culture , by using a signature to declare our personal position and getting others involved in doing this. Thank you for your support.“ Norbert Lantschner, CasaClima

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:59 PM in Energy | Comments (5) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

July 29, 2009

Grillo168 – Energy and Democratic Mafia

Grillo168 – Energy and Democratic Mafia
Friends! Thank you and good Grillo168! I have come to this little island that is called Pantelleria: it’s a place that I didn’t even think existed in the sick mind of a mad Creator, because it is a strange island that you have difficulty in understanding whether it’s beautiful or horrible. Full of hidden VIPs. Full of these “dammusi” {houses} inside this lava rock. The impression is that there has been a lava eruption in the last 24 hours and that they have just put everything in order! The sensation that I have of this island is that of the need to move around with great caution because everything that you meet is rough and full of dangers. To get to the sea you have to have big amphibian military boots with steel soles. You get down there. You take off your boots then with a “black&decker” you smooth down a bit of rock and you lower yourself into the sea. You fight the jelly fish a bit then you get out again and with the “black&decker” you clear a path up to your house. However, it is extraordinary. I’ve just had a swim now – you can see my hair – you land up like this because you even get genetically modified. In the “Specchio di Venere” {Venus’s Mirror}. It is a lake that is a kilometre inside the mouth of a volcano where you can swim, but it’s fantastic. In this mud that people put on themselves, they go around and then they rinse it off. It seems that it’s good for the skin. But I have seen no one normal there.
There’s always wind. From one direction or the other on the island: “Scirocco” or “Maestrale”. There’s always Sun. There’s an extraordinary climate. You could do energy here and sell it throughout Europe and yet what have the managers thought up, the politicians and the industrialists of this tiny island? To do generators that work on shit! Concentrated shit, with diesel. The rottenest diesel that there is, is brought here in ships to this tiny island to provide electricity to the island. I would like to let you see the generating station. It seems like England in the 1800s, in the times of Dickens: smoke, tumours. I don’t know whether they have done analyses here. I want to talk to the Democratic Mafia here. Now I understand that the resources, the environment, the diesel, the water that you bring in tanks and ships and that you offload with tiny garden hoses so that you can stay here for weeks unloading, is a mafia problem. I understand that. But I want to address my words to the Democratic Mafia, to “Totò ‘U Curtu Liberty” or to “Totò Minchiurello Democratico”. Next year there’ll be the local elections. Draw up a Five Star Democratic Mafia civic list, because here it’s possible to do sensational things here. There are already some studies done by the universities to do a big geothermic generating station. Here it’s enough for you to go down and there’s so much energy that you could give energy to the whole island. A wind system.


Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:03 AM in Energy | Comments (10) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

June 20, 2009

Piedmont radioactive

Giampiero Godio: Piedmont's nuclear waste

Piedmont is a radioactive region. Thanks to the centres at Saluggia, Trino and Bosco Marengo, Piedmont holds the Italian record for the amount of radioactive waste, with 85% of all the nuclear waste. An absolutely unassailable record. There is an old saying that states that “rubbish attracts more rubbish” (just try dropping a plastic bag in the street and, as if by miracle, very soon it will be joined by another ten), the Piedmontese radioactive waste will attract more such waste. The objective is 99%. As a company, Sogin deals with nuclear waste products and should therefore find a far safer location for the Piedmont’s existing nuclear waste products, which are located close to built up areas, to the Dora Baltea River and to certain underground water sources. Instead, Sogin has decided to double their capacity. The Company decided to build a new nuclear waste storage site at Bosco Marengo. The residents associations block Sogin’s plans by lodging a complaint with the Regional Administrative Court. Sogin approaches the Council of State. The members of the associations asked me for help and for some exposure on this Blog. If Bosco Marengo wins, then no nuclear waste storage site will ever again be built in Italy without the consent of local residents. This is an important battle. They may never give up (is it in their interests?), but neither will we.

Interview with Giampiero Godio:

The legacy of the first nuclear period

Nuclear waste along the rivers and underground water sources

The nuclear emergency at Bosco Marengo

The legacy of the first nuclear period

"My name is Giampiero Godio and I am in charge of Legambiete Association’s energy sector in here in Piedmont, where a very real nuclear emergency has come about. Unfortunately, Piedmont doesn’t need to look up the definition on “nuclear” in some dictionary because the real mark that nuclear power leaves on any territory is already clearly evident, and that goes for other parts of Italy as well as for the Piedmont Region. Following our Country’s previous foray into the field of nuclear power generation, namely during the 70’s and 80’s, Piedmont was left with its legacy in return for a certain number of kilowatt-hours of electricity that was generated, and relatively few kilowatt-hours at that. The amount in question may well have run a few billion kilowatt-hours, but this was nevertheless only equivalent to a few weeks worth in terms of our Country’s electricity consumption. In return for what was effectively very little electricity, Piedmont was left with extremely large amounts of radioactive waste products and as a result on circumstance and destiny, Piedmont now finds itself storing 85% of all of Italy’s radioactive waste products. Consequently, when we talk about nuclear power, we run into one of its major disadvantages, namely that in return for what is essentially a modest amount of electricity generated, a disproportionately large amount of toxic radioactive material is produced, which is extremely dangerous and remains so for a very long period of time, namely tens of thousands of years.
I must say, therefore, that all in all we are very fortunate that these alarm bells have been sounded in that this has enabled us to assess the benefits and the risks of nuclear power and, at least in Piedmont, we have done our homework in this regard. What we have discovered is that in return for every kilowatt-hour of electricity generated in our nuclear power station, one kilowatt-hour being the amount of electricity required to bake a cake in an electric oven, assuming an electricity consumption of one kilowatt and assuming it takes an hour to bake, and remembering that all the other nuclear power stations work in precisely the same manner, that kilowatt-hour of electricity generated results in the production of some 50 million becquerel of radioactive substances, not in the event of an accident occurring, but produced during the normal operation of the power station.
You may well be asking yourself whether 50 million becquerel is a lot or a little for only one kilowatt-hour of electricity? In Chernobyl, the site of the accident with the worst consequences in the entire history of nuclear energy, the Ukrainian Government, which is not anti-nuclear power, issued a decree creating a 30-kilometre exclusion zone around the reactor that exploded, an exclusion zone where access is prohibited. The radioactive contamination in that exclusion zone is some one million becquerel per square metre. What this means is that for every one kilowatt-hour of electricity we generate, we also produce 50 million becquerel of radioactive contamination and create the equivalent of 50 square metres of the most radioactive contaminated ground on earth. Seen in this light, it is difficult to judge whether it is all worthwhile after all. In actual fact, the answer is pretty obvious. Although no one can deny that nuclear power is an alternative to fossil fuels, it is the most dangerous of all the available alternatives and the one with the greatest emission of hazardous substances, so when it comes to nuclear fission, we certainly don’t need to look anything up in the dictionary, as we have learned to our cost here in Piedmont. We either create nuclear fission by-products because we are splitting the nucleus of the Uranium atom, which releases the radioactive nucleus fragments, namely the millions of becquerel of radioactive contamination, or we don’t split the nucleus, but rather, the neutron is captured, the nucleus expands and the fuel is converted from Uranium into Plutonium, which is even more radioactively toxic than the fission by-products that I mentioned earlier. And that’s not all, because this material can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons and nuclear bombs, so it is doubly dangerous.

Nuclear waste along the rivers and underground water sources

But why are we so concerned about all of this worry us today? We are concerned because the Government and part of the scientific community wants to go back to nuclear power. All good and well, but we cannot even reasonably guarantee the safety of the leftovers of our last foray into nuclear power. Here in Piedmont we are sitting with 85% of this radioactive waste, which is roughly split between three sites: 1) the most hazardous site overall is the Saluggia site, which has had the misfortune of being one of the installations where the spent fuel rods were taken, namely the fuel elements from which Plutonium was recovered. Over the years, a large number of these fuel rods were accumulated at this site because it was believed that, in time, we could recover increased amounts of Plutonium, which is a strategically important material.
This project continued for some time, until the referendum that was held in 1987, where the Italian people elected to drop this hazardous technology in the light of what had occurred at Chernobyl, however, the materials that they were working on at the time were left behind, hence the 5 kilograms of Plutonium and the 84 of the 85% of the nuclear waste that we are holding in Piedmont, unfortunately in one of the most unsuitable areas that could have been selected because of the close proximity to the Dora Baltea River, one of the largest rivers in the Piedmont region and certainly the largest tributary of the Po River, as well as being, paradoxically, just one and a half kilometres upstream from Piedmont’s largest aqueduct, whose wells are situated right there, just downstream from these nuclear installations. So Saluggia calls for vengeance, calls for vengeance I tell you, and it’s not only legambiente that is saying so, nor only “Pro Natura”, not only “Medicina Democratica”, not only the various committees, but absolutely everyone, including Nobel prize winner Carlo Rubbia, who technically owned the radioactive materials in question while he held the post of President of Enea and who said: there is only one place on earth with such a high level of danger, and the place he was talking abut was Saluggia.
Then there is a second site, at Trino, where the nuclear power station itself was located and where, along the banks of the Po River, there is a smaller, but nevertheless unhappily large quantity of radioactive material, as well as the core of the power station itself.
That is the second site, and the third site is at Bosco Marengo, which, during the 70’s and 80’s, was the location of a fuel production site. At this site, the Uranium was enriched and turned into pellets that were then loaded into the fuel rods that were subsequently used in the power station. Having done its job, this material was eventually stockpiled as radioactive waste, consisting mainly of natural Uranium and enriched Uranium but not the by-products of fission because no nuclear fission was ever undertaken at that site. It was simply a site where the fuel was prepared and so, as regards the numbers of bequerel and the amount of radioactivity, Bosco Marengo has less than the other two sites in Piedmont.

The nuclear emergency at Bosco Marengo

So why then are we here today, discussing a nuclear emergency precisely at Bosco Marengo? Well, perhaps because, of the three cases of previous nuclear experiences in Piedmont, Bosco Marengo is the simplest and least disturbing. That is where Sogin’s strategy revealed itself, the very same public company that is responsible for and that should be looking after nuclear power generation in Italy and none other than the company that is responsible for and that should be looking after all of the existing radioactive waste products, and what does Sogin do? What they should be saying is: “Well, we have all these radioactive waste products sitting at Trino, Saluggia and Bosco Marengo, in places that are entirely unsuitable, so let’s look for a more suitable place and never mind, after all, this waste was produced, so let’s try to locate the new site in a more logical place, certainly not as near to a river like Saluggia and Trino were, or on a densely populated plateau with highly vulnerable underground water sources, as is case in the Alessandria area and Bosco Marengo.
Although it will be a tortuous and difficult exercise, let’s identify a site that is, objectively speaking, a little safer, even though I don’t believe there is any such thing as a safe place to store nuclear material and that is the reason why I am against nuclear power. This is the real problem and certainly, as regards the existing nuclear waste materials, we need to find a solution that is as appropriate as possible, but what does Sogin go and do instead? They don’t bother with this phase of research on a national or even international level in order to ensure greater, or at least relatively greater safety, no, they decide to deposit more nuclear waste at those sites where there is already a stockpile of similar material, sites that were located in a highly irresponsible manner some 30 or 40 years ago, at a time when the true hazards of nuclear waste were relatively unknown. So the company decides to create new nuclear waste disposal sites within the existing Bosco Marengo, Trino and Saluggia sites, right near the rivers, etc, etc. However, given that an Environmental Impact Assessment would have been required for both the Saluggia and the Trino sites due to the quantity and type of waste to be disposed of, Sogin decided to focus on the Bosco Marengo site, which, according to Sogin, required no such Assessment because the situation there was far less complex, relatively speaking, and the site already had a valid authorisation to proceed, so Sogin has already begun work without us even being aware of what was going on since no one bothered to inform the residents and , as an association, we only found out once the work was already underway at the Bosco Marengo site. So we improvised and, together with the local residents and the few associations that are active in Piedmont, we instituted legal proceedings, asking that this illegal work be stopped, illegal because the current legislation stipulates that in Italy, in order to store radioactive waste, a centralised place must be identified where the safety of the material can be guaranteed. It also stipulates that such storage site, or the so-called national depot, had to be identified by no later than 2008. Instead of doing what they were required to do in terms of their mandate, Sogin instead simply began to create the aforesaid depot at Bosco Marengo. So we approached the Regional Administrative Court and explained our reasons, stating that: if the company is allowed to create the depot in that place, it will be more hazardous that any other place in Italy that has been even slightly more intelligently selected, so why build there and thus increase the risk and, even though these radioactive materials are already there and these materials in fact need to be stored somewhere, who is going to be responsible for them? The Regional Administrative Court ruled in our favour and suspended all operations involved in the creation of this depot at Bosco Marengo, so obviously Sogin reacted. Firstly they appointed the best attorney they could lay their hands on and then they proceeded to appeal to the Council of State, which is where we stand at the moment, having to state our case. While the Council of State is a legitimate source of justice, you are forced to bring along your lawyers in order to state your case and this is a very expensive exercise. We are talking about many tens of thousands Euro, a sum that is out of the question for associations such as Legambiente, Pro Natura and Medicina Democratica, who already battled to scrape together the few thousand Euro required for the appeal to the Regional Administrative Court.
And so we launched an appeal to anyone who may be interested in helping us and who realised that they would not only be helping to save Bosco Marengo, but also helping us to establish the basic principle of awareness regarding the wrongful conversion of these sites. I have an article here from the international press, which reported in December, when the authorisation was issued, regarding the first example of disposal, of “decommissioning” in Italy. Bosco Marengo is the first case of decommissioning in Italy. However, it is a fake decommissioning because decommissioning is defined as the removal of all signs of radioactive contamination. No Gentlemen, the site is not being cleared of all signs of radioactive contamination because, on top of this site, they are about to build an entire depot where radioactive materials will be stored!
Anything but the green fields that are supposedly the objective, in decommissioning jargon, green fields are all that would be left behind. No Gentlemen, a new term has been coined here, namely brown fields, because the site will simply be converted to something that will remain there forever and be condemned to everlasting radioactivity.
So these are our official reasons. We cannot allow this mentality to gain the upper hand, because if it does so in the case of Bosco Marengo, it will do the same in the case of Trino and in the case of Saluggia, Latina, Sessa Aurunca, Rotondelle and Caorso, as well as every other nuclear power site. What we would like to see instead of a centralised depot, not selected on the same basis as was done at Scanzano or rather attempted to do at Scanzano, but selected rationally, objectively and democratically, where we will land up with fifteen different sites spread throughout Italy rather than one site, which will certainly make Sogin happy, but not those who are concerned about the return to nuclear power and what has to be done to overcome this problem. It would be far better not to provide them with fifteen sites. So what we would like to see is that those people who are pushing for nuclear power in Italy be forced to first explain how we are going to resolve the problem of the nuclear waste left over from our earlier foray into the nuclear energy field so as to ensure at least a reasonable level of safety. Starting in this manner is the worst possible form of betrayal and this way of addressing the problem is totally irresponsible.
We did not know what to do, but fortunately the appeal that we launched got to Beppe Grillo and he not only expressed his willingness to become involved, but also made a substantial contribution. We cannot but be extremely happy that our family, a family made up of individual citizens, committees and environmental associations and that has responded so well to Sogin’s provocation is able to count on the support of such a well-known, important and famous personality as Beppe Grillo, to whom I would like to give my heartfelt thanks. With the family thus expanding to include more qualified people, I also believe that this problem will be more easily overcome and that Sogin will be facing a few additional problems, and so, together, we will have demonstrated that the problems of nuclear power are yet to be resolved and indeed we cannot go into the future with the same lack of consideration that is being displayed at present." Giampiero Godio, Legambiente

Register to contribute to the legal costs:
Reason for the deposit: nucleare Alessandria
- deposit your contribution into the current account in the name of Medicina Democratica Scrl , Acct No. 10039, ABI Code 05584, CAB Code 01708, CIN W. IBAN CODE - IT50W0558401708000000010039
- or into Post Office Account No. 22362107 in the name of Pro Natura Torino, No.13, Via Pastrengo, 10128 Turin

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:28 AM in Energy | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

May 26, 2009

Grillo168 – Go ahead with the future

Grillo168 – Go ahead with the future
We have come into Campania from Apulia. Campania is also hundreds of wind turbines on the hills. A landscape that is truly extraordinary. And here we see the pairing of the century: wind and energy, public and private. In the world, we are the biggest producers of those pylons that you can see there. The factory is at Priolo, where there’s also a Garrone refinery. Here you have today’s schizophrenia: oil and wind. Everything is put into this energy. It is the future. The oil barons throw themselves in. Moratti and Garrone throw themselves in. Enel and Eni throw themselves in. But their core business, the centre of their work, for 95%, will still be rotten oil. They are fossils. They throw themselves into these things because they get public financing. So it happens like this: what’s the meaning of “public” and what’s the meaning of “private”? The public provides the wind. The private puts up the installation. Now they risk doing what was done in Sardinia and in Sicily in these places. Where the public provides the wind and the income from the energy goes to a financier in Luxembourg. It goes to the great managers. The technology exists and it is extraordinary. There’s a need for politics to regulate these things. Don’t leave it in the hands of these private people who are falling over each other to clean themselves, to put on a new outfit of clothes. They also have financing there. This energy has to remain in the country and in the nearby countries. Here there will be a hundred installations, but here you can’t even see a watt of this energy, because it goes into a monopoly network that distributes it to other countries, to other places. This is what politics is about: to bring about a convergence between public and private. The public part provides the raw materials, the wind. By now, the Danes provide 20% of their energy like this. The Germans by the year 2030 will have removed all their generating stations. They are no longer creating nuclear power stations. So, is it better to have something like this or the Enel pylons? Is it better to have something like this or the nuclear or carbon-fuelled power stations? This is what you have to appreciate. Here we are immersed in a green landscape, in the future. These turbines are always providing energy because there is always wind. And they can even provide energy at night. When the factories are closed and don’t need energy. And where does the energy end up? Perhaps they sell it off. Like in Denmark, where most of the energy from wind turbines is created in the night. They create it at night and sell it off. So they thought something up. The circulation of cars in the city. Here I have an electric car. This car could be charged up at night with the energy produced by these installations, at night. Something marvellous happens in Denmark. AnIsraeli-Danish project to provide for the circulation of a hundred thousand electric cars, charged up at night with wind energy. And in the day, the energy not used by the cars, is given back to the supply company. An ambivalent relationship between those that give and those that receive energy. A car can give back the energy that it is not using in the daytime and thus eliminate the peaks of consumption in the city. It is extraordinary. Here there are no pollutants. There is nothing. Nothing is burned. By not burning anything, health becomes the most important thing. This is truly the future. Don’t be deceived. I have just come from the biggest solar energy exhibition in Europe at the Verona Fair – together with the one in Munich – it’s the biggest in Europe. And there were exhibitors of all sorts: wind, solar, geo-thermal. These sectors are doubling each year. There will be new jobs. Obama is aiming at 3 million new jobs by 2010-2015. I have seen this exhibition where there were all the exhibitors in the world, Chinese, Australian, Korean, Japanese ... Who was missing in that great exhibition? A politician. Not even one politician went. Where were our politicians, our fossil politicians, our corpses? Off to inaugurate an incinerator in Acerra with a technology of twenty years ago. They pressed a button and they all looked at each other because nothing started.
Good 168 and go ahead with the future!

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:40 PM in Energy | Comments (8) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

May 08, 2009

Blades don’t go round, but anger does

wind power
It is a refined system of connections to business and politicians. A handful of people control the wind sector. Many companies exist but it is the same people behind them.” That’s the declaration by Roberto Scarpinato to the Financial Times. The newspaper gives on its front page: “Mafia gangs probed over Italy windfarms” Inside it has devoted a WHOLE PAGE to the topic. After the past they are now screwing up the future as well.
Renewable energy is the exchange field of action between companies, politics and organised crime. Italy has a long history of incinerators, toxic refuse tips, purifiers that have never been started. Illness, polluted food, and water courses turned into sewers.
Now we start afresh. Like before, but more so. Wherever public funding is arriving, there the colluding politicians arrive, the exchange vote, the destruction of territory. We have invented the wind turbines in the countryside, that are working while immobile. The blades do not go round, but we get angry.
Italian and European Union subsidies for building wind farms and the world's highest guaranteed rates for the electricity they produce have turned southern Italy into a highly attractive market exploited by organised crime.”. According to the FT, dozens of wind turbines have been constructed in Sicily, but although there is wind, they stay still, they don’t move. Steel sentinels.
If they don’t produce energy, the turbines produce a profit anyway. According to Rossana Interlandi, the person responsible for the Environment in Sicily, when interviewed by the FT, the companies are attracted by the law that obliges those who distribute energy to pay the owners of wind turbines even if they don’t produce energy. There are 30 wind farms in Sicily, 60 have been approved and 226 are on the waiting list. If they were all to work, Sicily would take to the skies.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that in 2007 1.2% of the energy produced in Italy came from wind. In Denmark it was 20% and in Spain it was 9.8%.
European funding to Italy has to stop. I said that in Brussels last year. It’s like giving money to Bokassa. In Italy, there’s chatter about fiscal federalism. It would be better to call it fiscal share-out of the European contribution of our taxes. Meanwhile, in the world, the production of wind energy has overtaken nuclear energy.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 01:49 PM in Energy | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

March 01, 2009

No Nuke - Lester Brown


ENEL and nuclear power stations in Slovakia

Nuclear power will not get through. The line of battle will be what the citizens know. In fact, those who know nuclear power, its costs, its effects, the enormous risks, avoid it and tell whoever promotes it to Fxxx off. The blog has interviewed some of the most important energy experts in the world on the topic of nuclear power and alternative energy sources. Their evidence will be collected together on a DVD entitled "No Nuke". It will be available in May.
Why does the psycho-nuke want nuclear power? Why does Ms Marcegaglia of the incinerators want it “very soon”? It’s a matter of money, of our money, of our taxes. The nuclear industry, that is being abandoned in the whole world, needs enormous investment, it needs permanent help from the State. It’s a great big cake that makes the tax on the electricity bill that’s used for incinerators, look like a tiny shadow. If the CIP6 has sucked billions from renewable energy to give it to the industrialists and to the oil barons, nuclear power will gift tens of billions of Euro to the Confindustria and to Monsieur Sarkozy. The French nuclear industry needs to export its technology in order to survive.
They will never give up (but is it in their interests?). Neither will we.

Lester Brown, from "No Nuke".
”In the Earth Policy Institute, where we study different forms of alternative energy, the first thing we look at is the economic calculation… People ask: will we have to convert to nuclear power, or go back to nuclear power? I believe that in the United States no one has bought any nuclear power station for about 29 years… the cost of the electricity tariffs for a nuclear power station should include the costs for the disposal of the waste products, the costs of insurance against nuclear accidents, the cost of construction and of dismantling the plant. In the United States we have discovered that the cost of dismantling a power station is higher than the cost of construction. When we consider all the costs, a nuclear power station doesn’t even get out of the packaging: it’s simply not competitive… In the United States we have 103 nuclear power stations, and all are more than 30 years old. There is still no structure for the permanent stockpiling of the waste products. But we have invested 90 billion dollars in the development of a structure underneath the Yucca, in Nevada… It’s an investment of a billion dollars for each power station, it is extraordinarily costly. What the operators try to do is to offload the costs onto the governments and thus onto the taxes of the tax-payers. Because they know that if they had to add the costs to the electricity bill, the consumers would not accept that…”

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:13 PM in Energy | Comments (4) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

November 01, 2008

5_Star Municipalities: Olivadi, San Vito sullo Ionio and Cenadi

Solar Panels - Simulation of a 3KW system

We carry on with our voyage through the 5-Star Municipalities. Today it is the turn of the Municipalities of Olivadi, San Vito sullo Ionio and Cenadi in the Catanzaro Province. Ours is the Country of Sunshine and we had better enjoy it before it gets privatised and listed on the Stock Exchange. They will never give up, but neither will we.

"Those public administrations that adopt emission reduction policies also contribute to reducing public spending. The Municipalities of Olivadi, San Vito sullo Ionio and Cenadi, adjacent towns in Catanzaro Province, have been promoting a project called: “Sun, environment, savings”.
We could call this project “The obvious solution” because it begins with a very simple idea, namely, to form a group in order to gain the maximum benefit from the installation of solar panels and photovoltaic cells. More than 300 plants are to be installed in these three Municipal districts, which means that the supplier was able to give the buyers otherwise unthinkable discounts. The construction of the plant will cost the residents nothing, thanks to an agreement that the Municipalities have come to with the Banca di Credito Cooperativo Centro Calabria of San Vito sullo Ionio, a letter of understanding by which the bank has committed itself to fully finance both the purchase price and installation cost of the panels, at a fixed interest rate of 5.90%. Every resident will have access to clean, self-produced energy, thereby drastically reducing his or her individual utility bills. The loan will be paid off in six-monthly instalments over a maximum of 14 years and the money to do this will come from the incentive tariff credits that the local utility company will pay out during the year into banking accounts that each resident user will be required to open at the bank.
With these payments that the Electricity Supply Company will be paying back to the residents, based on the amount of power generated over a period of twenty years, the total cost of the plant will be amortised within 12-14 years, which means that, over time, in addition to enjoying free power, the residents will receive part of the incentive payments. Thereafter, with effect from the twelfth-fourteenth year onwards, the residents will receive the entire incentive payment, which amounts to some 600 Euro per year for every KWp of installed photovoltaic cell.
As regards the installation of the solar panels, an agreement has been entered into with G.F.C. – TER, which submitted the best quotation in terms of quality vs price for the supply of a turnkey plant and included insurance cover for a period of 14 years and free maintenance on the plant for 5 years.

Furthermore, the “Sun-Environment-Savings” project offers dual benefits in that it saves money by lowering the cost of electricity, plus it reduces greenhouse gas emissions to the tune of 1,000Kg of CO2 for every KWp of installed photovoltaic cell."
Sent in by Marco Boschini,

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 05:55 AM in Energy | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

September 24, 2008

Wackernagel and the ecological footprint

Mathis Wackernagel and the ecological footprint

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Today, 23 September 2008, is the Earth Overshoot Day. The day on which humanity has used all the resources that nature can generate in a year according to the Global Footprint Network founded by Mathis Wackernagel. This means that we need about 1.4 times the Earth to meet our needs. We are eating the planet. The blog has interviewed Wackernagel, the inventor of the concept of ecological footprint, a statistical index that brings together the consumption of natural resources with the Earth's capacity to regenerate them.

"Italian monks introduced the idea of book keeping for money. The ecological footprint is something similar for resources: we think like farmers about the world, rather than the money we think how much area there is that is productive for raising land, crop land, etc. That is what we have available, our bio capacity, and then what we use for our food, fibres, energy consumption, etc., is our ecological footprint. If we look at all the resources we consume from 1st January to 23rd September, the Overshoot Day, and compare them to the entire year production we see that by 23rd September we have used all the resources that the Earth can regenerate in the entire year. When I was born in 1962, humanity used about half the planet regenerative capacity. Over that time span we've been able, trough technological wizardry, to squeeze more stuff out of the planet. Some areas of the world have experienced the collapse because they are too poor to import extra resources after they run out of their own assets. Switzerland, for example, being quite wealthy uses three times the resources that its own ecosystem can regenerate. Since it has quite significant financial capacity, it buys the extra resources. The latest estimates for Italy are for 2003: 4.2 hectares of ecologically productive space compared to 1.8 available in the world, a bit less than three times what is available in the world. The bio capacity of Italy is one hectare per person, slightly more than half the world average. It takes so 4 Italies to support the consumption of Italians. Other cases are Haiti and Darfur, where they are much more limited by their own resources availability, and if they run out of resources, which they are, they aren't able to gain extra resources and so are confronted with severe resource shortages. There are beautiful historical examples, beautiful because they are so far away. When the Roman Empire was at its peak, a million people lived in Rome. Once the Empire collapsed, and Rome wasn't able to get the resources from far way places. The city within a very short period of time shrunked to about 50,000 people, all that Rome was able to support from it surrounding ecosystem, not being able to ship resources from far away any more. This is the best historical example. There are three areas on which we must focus: the first is that, like we do with finances, we need to have a good understanding of what we spend and how much we use. Book keeping doesn't avoid bankruptcy, but it helps to understand where we are. The second are is what we call slow things first. If you look at infrastructure put in place today or in the past, ... infrastructure lasts for decades. Think about how your cities are built and how long they will determine how we will live in these cities, for example the insulation of a building will determine for decades how much the house will consume. The third area is to focus our innovation in the right direction. Innovation is the biggest tool we have to solve issues, but if it is not just focused on the right problems, the problems will not solved. Being clear about recognizing what we are up against will allow us to invest in the right direction. I can tell you what energy we will be using in a 100 year, that is pretty obvious. Right now we are using in the order of 15 terawatt of energy to power the human economy. The Sun provides 175,000 terawatt to our planet. For sure 100 years from now we will be using predominately the Sun, as we did in the past, during the first 1,500,000 years of human existence. I hope that we start to recognize that the waste is not the end of the cycle, but the beginning. Our waste could become a significant resource for our economy: the worst thing we can do with the waste is mix the various materials of waste, therefore downgrading its usefulliness. By separating out all the various waste streams, they are much more valuable. Paper from recycled paper, metal from metal, etcetera. The organic food can become soil again through composting, without contaminating the rest of the waste streams. A part of the waste might have a high energy value and could be burned very cleanly. Waste could become a huge opportunity rather the problem it is today." M. Wackernagel

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:23 PM in Energy | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

August 10, 2008

The global war over crude oil


Georgia has bombed Southern Ossezia, a tiny State, equivalent to a medium-size Italian province. Estimates put the number of deaths at 1300. Almost all of them civilians. So Russia invaded Ossezia with its tanks and proceeded to bomb the Georgian Capital, Tiblisi. Meanwhile, Putin and Bush were exchanging niceties at the Olympics of Hypocrisy and the European Union failed to say a word. This is a new kind of war that is all about energy. From Kazakhstan, gas and crude oil could be sent to Europe without passing through Russian territory. Georgia is being provided with arms by Israel and the United States. Georgia’s President gets himself photographed standing between the national flag and that of the European Union, of which Georgia wants to become a member.
Ossezia is yet another episode in the global war over crude oil, which began with the first invasion of Iraq in 1991. Saddam attacked Kuwait and Bush senior intervened. Not to liberate the place but to prevent Saddam from controlling the flow of crude oil from the Persian Gulf. Bush junior continued the task begun earlier by his father, using the cock and bull excuse of some or other weapons of mass destruction. Do you honestly believe that the Americans actually give a damn about the inhabitants of either Kuwait or Iraq, especially given the fact that they failed to lift a finger to stop the genocide taking place in Rwanda and Darfur?
China, instead, buys crude oil from Iran and is probably selling arms to that country. Iran wants to replace the petro-Dollar with the Petro-Euro. Israel threatens to bomb Iran because of its nuclear power development policies. Chechnya is a place of strategic importance for the Russian oil pipelines. This is the real reason behind the Chechnyan massacres and the ongoing state of war. The world is divided into zones based on the control of crude oil supplies. Wherever there are oil wells, there is also (almost always) an ongoing war or a military occupation. Any area of strategic importance for the passage of crude oil is also (almost always) the scene of armed conflict. The G8+1 (China) and -1 (Italy) gathers regularly to agree on energy control zones. No war must be allowed to break out amongst the members of this group, so instead they allow their subjects to be massacred during the course of minor wars in obscure outposts that (also) happen to purchase their weapons. A dual business: arms and crude oil.
Fortunate are those without oil wells, for they will inherit peace.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:22 AM in Energy | Comments (17) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

June 25, 2008

An interview with Jeremy Rifkin


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The Blog interviewed Jeremy Rifkin, world-known author. Among its books: “The Hydrogen Economy”.
The world as we know it is changing fast. Oil is almost up. Energy will have two characteristics: renewable, like Sun and wind, and distributed. Each one of us will be able to create its own energy and share it with other on the grid.

"So, now at the sunset [of the second industrial revolution] we have four major crisis that are very, very critical. First, the price of energy is going up dramatically on world market as we move toward peak oil production in the world. Food prices have doubled last year, because so much of the food production relays on fossil fuels. As we reach peak oil production, prices go up, inflation goes up, the global economy stalls, we have recession and we have people who can’t afford to put food on the table. Peak oil is when half the global oil production is used up. And when half the oil is used up and you are on the top of that Bell curve, that is the end of the oil era. Because the prices are simply unaffordable for the second half of the oil curve. So, when do we peak? The optimists, the International Energy Agency and others, say: “Well maybe, we peak somewhere around 2025-2030-2035. On the other hand, in the last half a dozen year, some of the greatest geologists in the world, some of the world-class geologists, the best in the field, had been using more sophisticated computer models and looking at the oil and gas reserve figures, their models now suggests that we will peak with oil production somewhere between 2010 and 2020. One of the world’s great energy experts said that we already peaked in 2005. Now, the North Sea peaked three years ago, Mexico, the fourth wide resource producer peaks in 2010, Russia probably peaks around 2010.
Now, in my book, The Hydrogen Economy, I spent a lot of time on this question of peak oil. I don’t know who is right: the optimists or the pessimists. But it doesn’t make any difference. That’s a very small window.
The second crisis related to the sunset of energy regime is increasing political instability in the oil producing countries. We need to understand that one out of three civil wars in world today, one third, is occurring in the oil producing countries. So, if we peak these countries as our hotspot today, image what is going to be like in 2009-2010-2011 and 2012 etc. Everybody wants the oil. The oil is getting more expensive. There is a drying in supply and we are going to see more military and political conflicts in the oil producing countries.
And finally, there is the question of climate change. If we simply take the European Union’s targets for Co2 reduction, an the EU is the most aggressive in the World, even if we go with the EU targets, and China, India and other countries don’t want to do that, we can go up 6° Celsius in this century and – this is quote from the scientists – “and the end of civilization as we know it”. Let me say that what we need now is an economic plan that may be ambitious enough, and maybe powerful enough, to address the enormity of peak oil and climate change.
And so, let me say that the great economic revolutions in history occur when humans change the way they organize the energy of the Earth – number one – and then – number two – when we change the way we communicate with each other to organize these new energy revolutions.
In the early twentieth century the telegraph and telephone communication revolutions converged with oil and the internal combustion engine to give us the second industrial revolution.
Right now we are at the sunset of that second industrial revolution. So the question is, how do we open the door to the third industrial revolution. We can now communicate peer to peer, one to one, one to many, many to one, many to many. I am communicating with you now over the Internet. So this distributed communication revolution – that is the key word: distributed – this flat distributed open source communication revolution is just now beginning to converge with a new distributed energy revolution. And the coming together distributed communication and organized distributed energy, that is going to give us the third industrial revolution.
Distributed energies are found in the backyard. They are all over Italy, all over the world: the Sun shines everywhere on the Planet, the wind blow across the Earth, in we like on a coast we have ocean tides and waves, underneath the ground we have thermal heat. We have small hydro, with water. So, these are distributed energies, they are literally found everywhere, so the European Union is committed to pillar one of the four pillar of the third industrial revolution, which is distributed renewable energy.
Number one: we are going to renewable energies, they are distributed. The European Union has made that commitment: 20% renewables.
Number two: we are going to buildings as positive power plants. Millions of buildings that collect their energy. And the first building as power plant is already up. They already exist.
Then, pillar three: how do we store this renewable energy. Because the Sun is not always shining, even in the beautiful Italy, the wind is not always blowing, and you can have water tables down because of drought for hydroelectricity. So pillar three is: we are going to introduce storage technology and the main storage is going to be hydrogen. Hydrogen stores renewable energy the way digital stores media.
Then pillar four: this is the last pillar. This is where that distributed communication revolution, that I mentioned earlier, connects with distributed renewable energy to create a third industrial revolution. We take the same technology that we use for the Internet. It is identical. And the take the power grid of Italy and the EU and the World and we turn it into an inter-grid that acts just like the inter-net. So that, when you and I and millions of others produce our own energy, just like we produce our own information out of our computers, we store our energy in hydrogen just like we store our media with digital, and then with a smart power grid manager we share the surplus across Italy and Europe on an InterGrid that acts like the Internet. That is the third industrial revolution.
Let me say I work with the many of the leading power utilities companies in the world. I advise and consult. Let me give you a business perspective, not an ideological perspective. I don’t think nuclear power is going to be very significant in the future. I think it is essentially a dead-end and it would be a very poor course of action for any government. Let me give you the reasons. We don’t have Co2, with nuclear power. So, shouldn’t it be part of the solution for climate change? Alright? Now, let us look at the numbers. There are 439 nuclear power plants in the world today, it is all there is. They make up 5% of the energy that we create. That is all. These nuclear power plants are very old. They are grand-fathering out. They are going to be de-commissioned. Has anyone in Italy, or in the world, really believed that we are even going to replace the exiting 439 power plants in the next twenty years? But even if we did that, it gets back to that 5% of the energy. It will have no impact on climate change. It is very well considered that if we want to impact climate change, nuclear would have to take up 20% of the energy. Just like renewables. But, in order for nuclear power to be responsible of 20% of the energy, we have to put under construction three nuclear power plants every thirty days for the next sixty year. Did you hear that? That is two thousand power plants. Three news one every thirty days for the next sixty years. We don’t know how to get rid of nuclear waste. We are sixty years into nuclear power. The industry told us sixty years ago: “build the power plants, then give us enough time, we will figure out a way to dispose nuclear waste”. Sixty years later, this industry is saying: “trust us again, we can do it”. But the still don’t know how to get rid of the nuclear waste.
The International Atomic Energy Commission says we face potential uranium deficit, between 2025 and 2035, just for the existing 439 power plants that make up only 5% of the energy. We could take the uranium we have and recycle it to plutonium. But then we will have the threat of nuclear terrorism. Do we really want plutonium all over the world in an age of potential terrorist attacks? I think that is insane.
Then, finally, this is what all the people that watch this should discuss with their neighbours. We don’t have that water. This is something that utilities companies know, but the public doesn’t know. Take France. France is the quintessential nuclear power company. Over 70% of their electricity comes from nuclear power plants. Here is what the public does not know. 40% of all the water consumed in France last year went to cooling the nuclear reactors, for their nuclear industry. 40% of all the water in France. You recall thee years ago, when all the elderly people died in France during the summer because of the air conditioning – they didn’t have it? What you don’t know is there was not enough water to cool the nuclear reactors. So that nuclear reactors had to move down the amount of electricity they where putting out. So where is Italy or any other country going to find the water? If France doesn’t even have it. So, what we need to do is to democratize energy.
The third industrial revolution, this distributed revolution is power to the people. And for generation that grew up on the Internet this is the conclusion and completion of that revolution. Just like we can now rely on things like this Internet: we are now sitting and talking on the Internet at each other and you can have hundreds of thousand of people on the Internet and it is all free and you don’t have to rely on some centralized television network and it is all open source and you are sharing it. Is it correct? Why can’t we do that with energy?
Italy is the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy. There is some much distributed renewable energy in your country, it frustrates me when I come to your country and I see that is not moving like Spain is moving, for example. Spain is moving aggressively into renewable energy. All across the regions. For example. You have Sun. You have so much Sun from Rome to Bari. You have Sun. You are a peninsula, you have wind coming in all the time. You have the ocean waves surrounding you on all sides. You have rich geothermal deposits in Tuscany. You have forestry waste up in Bolzano and Northern Italy. You have snow for hydro from the Alps. You just are overflowing with renewable energy possibilities. You are not using them. I don’t understand why.
I guess the bottom line is, what I would say to the Italian government is: what is your game plan? If your only game plan is to stay on the old energies, then Italy will not be competitive and will not get the economic multiplier effect of moving into the door to a new economic revolution and will fall further and further behind other countries as we proceed into the twenty-first century. But if Italy decides that it is important to move into the sunrise energies and industries of the third industrial revolution, the opportunities are enormous for Italy. And enormous for the citizens of Italy.
I have been keeping in touch with what you have been doing with this website in the Internet now for a number of years, and I wish we had some voices like him [Beppe Grillo] in other countries.
That allows some many people to become engaged and it is instructive of the way we need to go. "

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 05:30 PM in Energy | Comments (8) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

May 19, 2008

State Secrecy on Energy

Click on the image
Sites for the disposal of nuclear waste, new civil installations for energy production, nuclear power stations, “rigassificatori”, incinerators/ “termovalorizzatori” (different types of waste-to-energy technologies} could in the future be covered by State Secrecy. This is set out in a decree that came into effect on May 1st, thus under the Prodi Government.
The decree was published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale on 16 April 2008, number 90. It says that: “In the places covered by State Secrecy the control functions normally carried out by the local public health bodies and by the National Fire Service, are carried out by autonomous offices of control located at a central level in the relevant administration organisations that set them up with their own arrangements.”
”The administration organisations are not obliged to communicate with the local public health bodies and the National Fire Service but they can turn to them for help and consultation.”
Information, news, documents, official paperwork, activities, locations and things related to the matter being referred to can be covered by State Secrecy.”
Article 261 of the Penal Code says that anyone revealing a State Secret will have a sentence of not less than 5 years in prison.
If a mayor were to tell his citizens about the existence of a nuclear waste dump in his territory he would land up in prison. If a mayor does not tell his citizens he would be betraying his position in relation to them.
Our employees are treating us like vassals. If our wishes do not correspond with theirs, they change the laws, they impose State Secrecy on toxic waste, on nuclear power stations. The other countries have secrecy about national security, about military bases. We have State Secrecy about rubbish, about what is poisoning us, about their motivation, about their interests.
Nuclear power stations are not a solution for energy. The greatest world experts agree and through this blog I will collect their evidence. Incinerators are not a solution for the disposal of rubbish. The greatest world experts agree and through this blog I will collect their evidence.
The citizen has the right to be informed about the choices of their employees. Prodi signed the decree, Veltrusconi will use it, but citizens will not hand around watching. freedom of information in a free State.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:37 AM in Energy | Comments (9) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

February 22, 2008

Don’t pay the CIP6 tax on the ENEL electricity bill

Listen to these voices

dott.ssa Gentilini
Maurizio Pallante
Paul Connet

The way of giving an incentive to renewable energy was brought in with the law number 9 in 1991 and by the document number 6 published by CIP in 1992 that added the words “and similar”.
These regulations set out that financing would in part be paid for (indirectly) by the final user, as a part of a surcharge on the cost of energy.
Anyway there is not a specific regulation that establishes an obligation for the individual to take on the payment of a particular sum in order to finance the sources of energy: the regulations on this topic, in fact, as mentioned above, establish that the cost of energy for the public applied by ENEL is made up of a surcharge that is in part destined for this purpose.
The CIP6 “quota” is paid by the individual user to ENEL that in turn, pays it to the State.
Given that this quote is “excluded” from the price per kilowatt and that there is no regulation that specifically obliges the user to pay that sum for that purpose, if the individual fails to pay this part out of the whole amount paid for the supply, this constitutes a non-fulfilment of the contract.
CIP6 is a tax on tumours. It is used to construct incinerators that thermo-valorise your cells.
They don’t want to understand this with good manners and they won’t stop and go on to differentiated collection and using forms of disposal that are not bad for our health.
The criminal use of our money to poison OUR FAMILIES must stop.
We want renewable energy. We don’t want to be breathing dioxin and nano particles.
No longer pay the CIP6 tax with ENEL. I have already started.
ENEL has removed from the utility bill the item A3 with the contribution for the incinerators.
Calculating the exact sum is almost impossible, it’s about 7%.
ENEL must bring back the item A3 to allow us to deduct it correctly.
use the Enel/Informazioni to inform ENEL that you have calculated by how much you will reduce what you pay on your utility bill with the explanation: ‘Detrazione CIP6 per gli Inceneritori’ {deduction of CIP6 for incinerators} in the field headed “messaggio”
- take off 7% from the ‘importo senza IVA’ {value before sales tax} on the utility bill
spread the word.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:12 AM in Energy | Comments (5) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

December 04, 2007

Petroleum and terrorism

Image from the Financial Times

11 September 2001. Since then we have been one of the nations at risk of Islamic attacks. More than six years have passed and, as far as we can remember, not a single person has been killed or injured in Italy as a direct result of the Jihad. This must be some sort of record. We have not seen a single possessed man wearing a turban, or a bearded fanatic involved in any robbery, bloody event or domestic burglary.
Some may believe that this may be simply because Italy closes an eye (looks the other way), perhaps even both eyes and allows everyone to do their own thing. And the Country allows the setting up of logistics bases that could be used as a springboard for attacks elsewhere in Europe. There may well be some truth in this belief because, here in Italy, we are free to do whatever we wish and this Country is probably the best crossroads for all the secret services of the world. Abu Omar was kidnapped in Milan by twenty-six CIA agents. However, any terrorist wishing to blow himself up in London or Madrid is able to access local support with impunity. He need not go as far as Rome or Milan. Since 2001, there have been around 8000 people assassinated in the workplace, hundreds more have died at the hands of organised crime and there have been thousands of rapes. Entire swathes of the Campania, Calabria and Sicily Regions are beyond the rule of law, with shotguns drawn. The result is that we have sent our troops to Iraq and Afghanistan and cut our funding to the Country’s Police Services. All due to the Jihad.
Of what use is a fear of the Muslims and the mosques? The person who prays does not normally get involved in criminal activity. In an attempt to find some sort of answer to this question, I read the recent International Energy Agency Report on the future of world energy. The report’s content is summarised in a map published by the Financial Times and entitled: “The increasing importance of Middle East petroleum”.
In 1980, the quantity of petroleum extracted in non-Opec countries, such as the United States and Russia, amounted to 35.5 million barrels per day, while 28.1 million barrels were being extracted by Opec zone Countries. The forecast for the year 2030 is exactly the opposite, with petroleum production is expected to in the order of 60.3 million barrels per day in the Opec zone and 53.2 million barrels in the rest of the world. He who controls the Persian Gulf, which is where 30% of the entire global requirement will be extracted, controls the energy resources and, he who controls the energy resources also controls the entire planet. The rising demand for energy (China alone will go from their current 7 million barrels per day, to 16.5 million by 2030) will coincide with the concentration of petroleum in the Persian Gulf, overlooked by Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates. All of which are Muslim States. Therefore, the more petroleum you produce, the more you are a terrorist.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:04 AM in Energy | Comments (15) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

July 18, 2007

Nuclear Enel

Enel buys pages in the International daily newspapers to do advertising. Guess who pays?

Before answering, close your eyes, concentrate and count to three. If the reply is: “Me through my utility bill”, you are one of the millions of Italians who have financed the advertising appearing in The Financial Times.
The image was suggested directly by Bin Laden. The two skyscrapers are without the shadow of a doubt, a photo of the Twin Towers snapped on 10 September 2001.
Enel in the text of the advert, written by Rutelli, the one who did the international video: “pliiis visits pliiis ourcaountri”, says two important things.

“Our strength comes from facts: in 2006, our net profit hit 3 billion euros”.
A strength based on the de facto monopoly in Italy. Enel gains and the ones who lose are the families, the companies and the competitiveness of the country. Enel is better than Robin Hood, it takes from the users to fatten up its balance sheet.
“As a company, we strongly believe in economic, social environmental responsibility”. This is why it invests in nuclear power stations going back to the time of the cold war. The opinion of Greenpeace:
“Greenpeace is strongly against Enel’s nuclear investments at Mochovce where two soviet rectors designed in the 1970s are to be completed, without a layer that protects from external events. Greenpeace is also opposing the soviet nuclear project at Belene in Bulgaria, in a seismic zone. Two operations that will cost more than all Enel’s investments in renewable sources, an embarrassing record.”

Now that Enel has a balance sheet of thousands of millions thanks to our utility bills and it is going round the world to tell people, it makes my blood boil. But the fact that they are using our money to buy two antiquated nuclear reactors instead of investing in renewables is a crime against future generations.
The Minister of the Economy is the main shareholder of Enel. Let Padoa Schioppa (email) intervene, at least for the sake of his grandchildren.


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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:24 PM in Energy | Comments (6) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

April 18, 2007

Chernobyl my love

image: National Geographic

The true soviet revolution starts now. Aeroflot wants Alitalia. We’ll have Russian air hostesses, so far so good. But also Tupolev aircraft and here we’ll have to touch our heads before landing.
To exchange the favour, Enel invests in soviet nuclear reactors, older than the Chernobyl one. When innovation comes, it comes.
And in Italy we know, it never comes. But 30% of Enel belongs to the State and Italian citizens, after Chernobyl, voted against nuclear in a referendum.
Let’s use the Greenpeace petition to remind the employee Prodi when he comes back from Japan. I wouldn’t want things to have gone to his head while he was passing by Hiroshima.

Letter from Greenpeace:
”Double protest today by Greenpeace against Enel’s decision to invest 1,800,000,000 Euro for the completion of two nuclear reactors at Mochovce in Slovakia. Today outside the headquarters of the banks in the main cities of Italy, Italian activists distributed ironic likenesses of Enel adverts explaining how instead of investing in innovation there’s investment in a reactor using soviet technology that in fact pre-dates the Chernobyl disaster.
Today’s brochure reads: “The true revolution is to go back to soviet nuclear technology.”
In Europe, Greenpeace has also protested in front of the Italian Embassies in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria.
The letter sent to the Italian Government emphasizes that Italy that has closed down its own reactors cannot the atomic risk export abroad.
In fact the government is Enel’s reference shareholder with a 30% share. The main criticisms of the project are the low level of safety and also the economics that are open to discussion.
The plan is to construct at Mochovce, 2 soviet reactors (VVER-440/213) that were designed at the end of the 1970s.
The reactors are well below the current safety standards and it’s unlikely that they would get authorization n most of the European States. For example, they don’t have a double outer layer to give protection if there were to be an impact from an aircraft.
Not only that, but for Greenpeace, there’s an issue of legitimacy because the project was authorised in 1986 by the communist government of that time with no environmental impact evaluation nor involvement of public opinion.
Even today, Slovakia’s Ministry of the Environment refuses to conduct an environmental impact assessment…..”
“Next month Enel is due to take the final decision on Mochovce and Greenpeace has started a web-based petition to ask Prodi to drop this project immediately.”

Complete text from Greenpeace.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:55 AM in Energy | Comments (21) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

April 05, 2007

Fidel and the World’s Future

image by rikk_dn

The cost of corn is going up. The reason: corn is used to produce ethanol, the new green petrol. The cost of the fuel will go down, the cost of bread and meat will go up. This is what happens in the rich countries. In poor ones what will increase is the number dying of hunger and the exports of ethanol. Food must be energy for the human not for machines.
Fidel Castro, after 8 months of silence, has put forward certain reflections in the daily paper Granma. He’s talking about George W. Bush’s launch of the ethanol era. In the future no longer will petrol be taken from the mouths of the developing countries, but just bread.

“More than three billion people in the world condemned to premature death from hunger and thirs
That is not an exaggerated figure, but rather a cautious one. I have meditated a lot on that in the wake of President Bush’s meeting with U.S. automobile manufacturers. The sinister idea of converting food into fuel was definitively established as an economic line in U.S. foreign policy last Monday, March 26.
The president urged Congress to ‘move expeditiously’ on legislation the administration recently proposed to require the use of 35 billion gallons of alternative fuels by 2017 and seek higher fuel economy standards for automobiles. Bush met with General Motors Corp. chairman and chief executive Rick Wagoner, Ford Motor Co. chief executive Alan Mulally and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group chief executive Tom LaSorda.
I believe that reducing and moreover recycling all motors that run on electricity and fuel is an elemental and urgent need for all humanity. The tragedy does not lie in reducing those energy costs but in the idea of converting food into fuel.
It is known very precisely today that one ton of corn can only produce 413 liters of ethanol on average, according to densities. That is equivalent to 109 gallons. The average price of corn in U.S. ports has risen to $167 per ton. Thus, 320 million tons of corn would be required to produce 35 billion gallons of ethanol.
According to FAO figures, the U.S. corn harvest rose to 280.2 million tons in the year 2005. Apply that recipe to the countries of the Third World and you will see that people among the hungry masses of the Earth will no longer eat corn.
Or something worse: lend funding to poor countries to produce corn ethanol based on corn or any other food and not a single tree will be left to defend humanity from climate change.
Other countries in the rich world are planning to use not only corn but also wheat, sunflower seeds, rapeseed and other foods for fuel production. For the Europeans, for example, it would become a business to import all of the world’s soybeans with the aim of reducing the fuel costs for their automobiles and feeding their animals with the chaff from that legume, particularly rich in all types of essential amino acids.
All the countries of the world, rich and poor, without any exception, could save millions and millions of dollars in investment and fuel simply by changing all the incandescent light bulbs for fluorescent ones, an exercise that Cuba has carried out in all homes throughout the country……
I refer in this case to an official news agency, founded in 1945 and generally well-informed about economic and social questions in the world: TELAM. It said, and I quote:
“In just 18 years, close to 2 billion people will be living in countries and regions where water will be a distant memory. Two-thirds of the world’s population could be living in places where that scarcity produces social and economic tensions of such a magnitude that it could lead nations to wars for the precious ‘blue gold.’
“According to statistics from the World Water Council, it is estimated that by 2015, the number of inhabitants affected by this grave situation will rise by 3.5 billion people.”
Fidel Castro.

Complete article.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 02:18 PM in Energy | Comments (11) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

March 17, 2007

Green petrol


The sugar factories are closing down. They have given way to empty supermarkets, unemployment and (guess what?) petrol. Beetroot and petrol live side by side in many countries, like Brazil.
In Italy it’s preferable to close down whoever offers alternatives to petrol. Green alternatives, less polluting, less costly. Alcoplus in Ferrara, producing biofuels is to close with the 46 employees to be sent home. The reason?
The series of closures of sugar factories has reduced the stocks of molasses from which the alcohol is produced. The competition has pressed down on the accelerator, reducing the price of the bio fuel that is produced by mixing alcohol of vegetable origin with petrol derivatives.
That’s how the story of a distillery that produced alcohol finishes. It produced alcohol used in the best known made-in-Italy booming production of eco-fuels and cannot sell its annual production of 39,000,000 litres. Finished?
It doesn’t finish. We can’t allow it to finish! Companies like Alcoplus represent the present and the future.
For years, the State has financed the oil barons with our money, the ones of the Enel utility bills. One, Garrone of ERG (mp3), has been interviewed. Listen to it. It’s better than going to the Circus.
Let the employee Minister Castro intervene. He is there to protect us and to give life to companies like Alcoplus that should be multiplied, even to relaunch the sugar factories.
One, a hundred, a thousand Alcopluses. Let’s send Castro an email reminder.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 01:26 PM in Energy | Comments (7) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

February 25, 2007

Mafia Tax on Energy


Why do we have to pay the mafia tax to Eni? Eni is a company quoted on the Stock Exchange. The Treasury has 21%, the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti has 10%. The remaining 69% is owned by small and big share holders.
Eni is a de facto monopoly. Our energy bill goes to Eni’s coffers.
Eni has declared a profit of 9,200,000,000 Euro in 2006.
A massive profit taken away from families and companies.
Practically, we have paid another Finance Law.
A part of the profit is distributed to the shareholders.
The first shareholder to get some of the mafia tax is the State.
The other shareholders, apart from private citizens, I don’t know who they are.
I can smell the usual pong of the gentile living room.
The one that has probably placed its own men in the Board of Directors.
The one that has perhaps nominated Scaroni (who made an agreement over a conviction and sentence to two years and three months for corruption) as the Chief Executive Officer.
Eni’s mafia tax is the lead in the wings of the development of the country.
Yesterday Scaroni decided to add more lead: Agip has increased the price of petrol and diesel.
The State has reacted with harshness. Bersani declared: “We will see if Agip will decide to give explanations about such an unusual operation.”
The citizen that owns Eni shares can pay the mafia tax on the energy bill by cashing in their dividends. The citizen that doesn’t own Eni shares can pay the mafia tax full stop. If we were all shareholders, the problem would be resolved.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 12:05 PM in Energy | Comments (6) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

December 30, 2006

Cip6: a letter from Pecoraro Scanio


Pecoraro Scanio has sent me a letter about the Cip6. This is a great victory for Italian citizens. I want to say “thank you” to all those who follow the Blog and to those who are associated with the MeetUp groups. Without you there would still be financing of the incinerators.
But there are those, like the valued incineratorists, the TAVists, the DSdioxin Mediapolists from Piedmont who never give up and send out a cry of pain with Chiamparino: “The year 2007 will be decisive for the High Speed Turin- Lyon project. Even given the umpteenth interview with the Minister Pecoraro Scanio on the topic, it seems evident to me that it is ever more a political problem.
This is why I think that the political leadership of the Centre Left should finally give a clear word on the topic.” I’ll give you a clear word Chiamparino: “Jerk”.

Dear Beppe,
Good news: the common battle against the Cip6 has seen a step forward. The Council of Ministers has restored the amendment - the one that disappeared in the Senate, - that excluded the “similar sources” (including the incinerators) from the incentives destined for renewable sources.
This is a success and good news that people need to know about. Together with the reopening of the Conference of Services for the regasification plant at Brindisi so as to be able to evaluate fully and exhaustively all the environmental profiles. More good news is the decision to start in March the national conference on energy and the environment.
The stimuli and the criticisms that we receive are useful and at times they are necessary, but it is also important to remember the positive results and to share them with those who have battled to get them.
An encouragement for those, like us, that believe another economy is possible and that protests should not be criminalized but that it is necessary to gather together the many proposals for the innovation they contain.
Thus there are a few good news items at the end of the year but we can rest there. I am taking advantage of these festive days to say to you and to all the friends of the Blog, may you have a happy year 2007 and may it be full of satisfaction. And with this wish there’s also a brief reflection.
I read your criticisms that personally I consider to be useful stimuli to operate with ever more efficiency. On the other hand, your Blog and the activity of the movements that fight throughout the land for the environment and the rights of consumers, are precious allies and vigilant eyes for those who are in politics with the aim of bringing about a change in direction of politics in this country.
We talked about this during our first meeting at the Ministry in the first weeks of life of the government.
And I have to say, in these first months of activity I have preferred to “talk” with facts rather than with press releases. The facts and the acts of the government can certainly be improved on but they are certainly moving in the direction that we are hoping for.
For example, I am referring to the work done to remove the TAV project in the Val di Susa from the perverse mechanism of the Objective Law and to bring it within the ambit of ordinary procedures. Or to the financing going to the Bridge over the Straits of Messina and direct it to the public works that are genuinely useful in the South. Or for having started the complete reform of the Framework Law.
To have inserted in the Finance Law, more money for renewable energy sources, for efficiency and saving, sustainable mobility, the defence of the territory from landslides and floods, for the fight against the eco-mafias and abusive building in favour of parks and biodiversity.
A positive balance that is very solid in relation to the previous Finance law that can be verified by anyone. This gives us hope for the year 2007.

Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 12:30 PM in Energy | Comments (13) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

December 24, 2006

Let’s give ourselves a gift of renewables


No newspaper or national TV channel talks about it. Advertising for Enel, on pages and pages of newspapers and magazines is more important than our health. Of the 3,100,000,000 Euro paid every year with the Enel utility bills. Of a news item that relates to the future of renewable energy.
But something is happening on the scandal of the Cip6-Green certificates and finance to incinerators, electricity generating stations fueled by coal and by oil by-products.
After the protests of the employees Tommaso Sodano (Prc) and Loredana De Petris (Greens), who with their groups, have threatened to abandon the work of the Senate, the anger of the employee Pecoraro Scanio (alleluia!), after more than 23,000 electronic signatures in a few days on the blog and thousands of your emails to the employee Franco Marini, the government has announced that on Thursday 27 December it will meet to remove the words 'authorised plant'. Here is the communication from Palazzo Chigi about the acts of the Senate. However vigilance is needed.
In fact the fire-raisers are in agitation. It’s a matter of the Assoambiente-Confindustria headed by Pietro Colucci president of Waste Italia that also constructs incinerators and using invoices that are perfectly in regular to give finance to AN, Forza Italia and DS (minute 39:45 of the Report video). There is agitation from Daniele Fortini, the president of the Federambiente (don’t be taken in by the name, it’s the association that takes in all the former municipal companies and the companies of the sector). Fortini is also the president of CEWEP, the Confederation of European Waste-to-Energy Plants.
Grabbed by a state of nerves he’s playing John Wayne and fired off a press release: either the utility bills, or the tariffs – you citizens have to pay for the incinerators!
But the fact that in the absence of public financing the incineration of waste is not economic was already written by the Bolsheviks in the Wall Street Journal on 11 August 1993.
For the DS-dioxin employee from Turin, Sergio Chiamparino (Ds) to abolish financing incinerators “is an unwise decision”. He’s desperate and puts an idea to his friend Bersani to get our money back: “I trust that the government will know how to find a remedy subsequently with a decree from the Ministry of Industry to bring back the treatment of waste within the range of biomass, thus allowing for the access to incentives set down for renewable energy.”
Chiamparino asks for State help to mess up the free competition at European level and to sell as biomass and renewable sources the non-biodegradable waste like plastics and various toxic materials (forbidden by the EU).

It’s necessary to explain to the fire-raisers that there are alternatives to avoid incinerators and close many dumps:
- reduction at source – tax the double and triple packaging, sale of products loose (unpackaged)
- door to door collection of pre-sorted waste with precise tariffs using microchips (the more you recycle the less you pay) that can even get to 75-80% as demonstrated by the experiences in the province of Treviso.
- for the residue that cannot be recycled, “cold” biological treatment without combustion. A method with minimum health impact compared to incineration and decidedly more economic. Watch the video and read the documents of the meetings of the Meet Up groups of Verona and Reggio Emilia with the entrepreneur Francesco Galanzino, vice president of the Italian Composting Consortium and professor Federico Valerio of the Tumour Institute of Genoa.
- future strategies ‘zero refuse’ voted in the maxi-amendment of the Finance law (art. 1111). In the next few years different objectives of differentiated collection must be met or the territorial management consortiums are to be put under administration.

No let up! RESET. To avoid little games, let’s send an email to the employees Prodi, Bersani, Pecoraro, Letta, and Sircana with a copy to the responsible people in the European Community so that the incinerators of waste and the generating stations fuelled by fossils fuels are not financed using our money. Let’s give a Christmas present to ourselves and to our children.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:57 AM in Energy | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

December 19, 2006

Italy on coal


At Porto Tolle someone is fighting for us. It’s Greenpeace. The government of incinerators and the TAV has got stuck at the end of the nineteenth century, with the progressives and the sun of the future. And with coal. The Greens haven’t arrived. You have to understand them. They are green and red. Green-dioxin-DS people. Pecoraro, lift up your voice for once in your green life! Say something green!
I’m publishing a communication from Greenpeace about Porto Tolle. You won’t find it in those newspapers that are financed by Enel advertising. That’s practically all of them.
Look at the photos and the video.

“Have climbed up to 250 metres since last night. A team of Greenpeace climbers are in action at the Porto Tolle generating station in the province of Rovigo to protest against the return of coal promoted by the government.
A few climbers are now on the chimney and they are creating gigantic lettering, while others are on the roof of the building where they have positioned a gigantic display saying: ‘Enel clima killer’ {ENEL climate killer}.
The Porto Tolle generating station according to the ENEL project is currently in the authorization phase, so that it can be converted to coal with an output potential of 980 Megawatts and CO2 emissions of more than 10 million tons a year.
Furthermore, the plant is in a natural park that has been defined by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The deltas of the great rivers are environments that enjoy special protection in the whole world. However, in Italy the area sees the presence of this old generating station fuelled by oil which is a source of severe pollution to such an extent that the top managers of Enel were convicted.
The uncomfortable truth is that the return to coal will not make us meet the objectives of reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases. The agreement between the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of the Environment arranges for a limit on emissions that are in excess of European guidelines: a total of 209 million tons instead of 186.
There is no place for the Civitavecchia generating station or for the one at Porto Tolle. The European Commission must cut the proposal of the National Allocation Plan for Italy.
Today coal accounts for 17% of national electricity production and it is responsible for the emissions of more than 40 million tons of CO2. With the expansion projects of Enel, Endesa, Tirreno Power and others, these emissions are destined to double.
Coal is the combustion fuel with the highest emissions specifically of CO2, more than double that of natural gas.
The political programme of the Unione indicates objectives for the development of renewable sources and for energy efficiency. But at the moment, in the government’s action, there is no trace of that.
We ask for the fixing of constraining objectives that are coherent with the commitments taken at an international level.”

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 03:57 PM in Energy | Comments (7) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

December 02, 2006

RESET Incinerators!


On April 10, the employee Romano Prodi was asked to abolish the financing of refuse incinerators and electricity generation based on fossil fuels (coal, oil, by-products of oil refining) through item A3 of our Enel utility bills.
Only in Italy, are these considered to be sources of renewable (and similar) energy and thus have a contribution that should go to the true renewables: solar, wind, water. Even though forbidden by the European Union, and Italy is subject to an infraction procedure.
It should be remembered that the employee Prodi whose Energy leader Loyola De Palacio said on 20.11.2003: “the non-biodegradable fraction of the refuse cannot be considered to be a source of renewable energy”.
The finance goes to the usual well-known ones. To the multi-utilities with incinerators, to Api with its generating stations at Falconara and then to Edison, EniPower, Enel etc. Burning off the by-products of oil refining at Sarroch (Cagliari) and Priolo Gargallo (Siracusa), Moratti and Garrone pay for the acquisitions by Inter and Sampdoria even with the electricity bills of Milan and Genoa fans. Where is the football fairness?
Read the list of those who have benefited from Cip6 financing in 2006 and on the official site of the Authority dell’Energia {Energy Authority} the summaries for 2003-2004 with the percentages of the first 10 companies that have grabbed financing for similar sources and false renewables: we find: Asm Brescia, the multinational Fooster&Wheeler (that builds incinerators among other things), Sarlux (oil, Moratti family) Erg (oil, Garrone family), Edison (gasifiers), ApiEnergia… (oil) We’re talking about financing for about 3,100,000,000 Euro in 2005 (2,400,000,000 in 2004).
Apart from the Cip6, there’s the new frontier of 'Green Certificates' and it’s still them that benefits from them. With our money.
All this is happening to the detriment of the true renewables that are receiving only a minimal part of the funds. These tumour machines are still in existence because we are financing them using a mechanism that is considered illegal by the European Union. We are financing them with the electricity bills.
We are paying for renewables and we are creating tumour-factories. The investors on the Stock Exchange want more and more incinerators, gasifiers “clean” generating stations fuelled by coal.
They are pre-booking places in the other world for all of us and meanwhile they are enjoying being capitalists with our money.
In Parliament there are those who are trying to abolish this “drugged” mechanism of the Cip6- Certificati Verdi, but the transverse lobby is resisting. From AN to DS passing by Forza Italia, Margherita, Rosa nel Pugno, Udc.

Against this scandal a campaign called RESET Incinerators has started.

1 – To raise awareness about the damage caused by incinerators and on possible alternatives (Zero Refuse strategies, integrated systems with reduction at the source, differentiated collection at the door, ‘cold’ biological processing ) the Meetups in the whole of Italy are going into the streets in loads of Italy’s cities on Saturday 2 December. Go for it people!

2 - On the Internet there’s an online petition called 'RESET Incinerators'. It’s addressed to the European Commission and the Italian Government to ask for an end to financing of incinerators and similar sources.

3 - Buying the electronic microscope. It’s nearly there….

Let’s save our lives and the lives of our children! RESET!

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 01:43 AM in Energy | Comments (4) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

November 07, 2006

Another world of energy saving with API

photo by: athoob

Life expectancy has gone down by 3 years in the Po Valley because of the PM 2.5. API has sprung into action straight away: it has decided to give us a luminous future with a Kyoto Box: two light bulbs and two gadgets for taps to reduce the CO2 pollution in the other world.
The Kyoto Box is also known as the “magic box” because of its occult powers. The API refinery has become the “Advanced Centre for Environmental Energy”, the advancement of the environment towards Hades.
The money that we pay with our ENEL energy bill at item A3 for “new plant for renewable sources and similar” has been assimilated to refineries and incinerators, to renew the planet starting from zero. With the money saved with the magic box we will however be able to repay the 60,000,000,000 Euro that the Italian pollution is costing us in terms of economic and social and health damages.
The magic box will be distributed to 1680 people who will be able to reserve for themselves a kingdom of illuminated dead. This Saturday in the Falconara building to thank API, we will come together with the Comitati di Falconara {Falconara groupings} and the Meetup people.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:24 PM in Energy | Comments (13) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

October 08, 2006

Do It Yourself Energy

photo from solivagant7

People at the moment are talking about the finance law. Of money to be taken from this or the other social group. To comment on the Budget law I need to give a full time job to a qualified accountant and publish tables, numbers percentages, and statistical and historical comparisons over a period of weeks.
Who remembers the Budget law of 1998 or the 1989 one? What did they mean for all of us? The finance law changes nothing in the country.
Someone will get the worst of it more than others. They will develop antibodies and will try to dodge taxes. That's it. The finance law is about finances and the country has seen too much about finance. Now we need the facts. The politicians will do nothing. They are old in spirit and in the use of language. Banker's language. It's up to us to do the Budget law or rather the Entrepreneurial law. A do it yourself Entrepeurial law.
Let's take as an example the village of Berlingo. Let's clone it for all the other villages.

"Having noticed your interest in environmental and energy matters, I'd like to tell you about an intervention happening in the village of Berlingo (BS) where the authorities have recently approved a project to be constructed by next year: it is a combined photovoltaic-geothermic plant that will provide electrical energy and heating to the new educational complex (nursery and elementary school) currently under construction and to the sports centre that is already built.
For a village like ours (2200 inhabitants), this is a massive project and can go ahead thanks to the contribution of an energy account from the GRTN {Gestore della Rete di Trasmissione Nazionale = National Transmission Network}.It produces zero emissions into the atmosphere and it makes these public buildings self sufficient in energy. It gives a drastic reduction, if it doesn't take them quite to zero, in future costs for managing electrical energy and heating.
It's worth pointing out that the education complex and the sports centre are on land in the centre of the village which up until the year 2000 was used for an unauthorized tip for dangerous refuse (lead and residue from batteries). It has now been completely cleaned up by totally removing the polluting material with the contribution of the Lombardy Region. Thus a site that was highly dangerous has become by a sort of reversal worthy of a story from Dante, a place that is highly significant for the safeguarding of the environment.
In 2005 our village started the operation of a solar energy heating unit for heating water in the sports centre and in 2006 a photovoltaic unit for the local authority.
It has started up a partnership with a social cooperative that is specialised in the sector of renewable energy and we have proposed to our residents last February to have a meeting about "energy accounts" promoting the installation of solar panels on private homes.
We want our initiative to be a stimulus showing how going beyond proclamations that are ends in themselves, even small realities like ours can create programmes of intervention that are significant and compatible with ecology. Thank you for your attention. Cordial greetings."
Dario Ciapetti - mayor of Berlingo

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:36 PM in Energy | Comments (15) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (1)

September 20, 2006

ENI versus Planet Earth


Scaroni has been to OPEC. He delivered a great speech in English. Before going to Vienna he took lessons from Totti. His accent wasn’t quite from Oxford but he put on a show as an Italian abroad. We should recognise that. I’m not upset and even though ENI sometimes blacks out this blog, I’ve decided to pick up on this. It’s useful for English lessons, better than Shenker, to be listened to in school, everything is understandable, he almost seems to be speaking in Italian.
For completeness I’m attaching the text and I’m giving a few sentences here with my comments.

The recoverable reserves of non conventional oil like heavy oils and natural bitumen amount to almost 5,000,000,000,000 Barrels, for a duration of more than 100 years.”
The emission of carbon dioxide and the release of polluting substances from the recoverable reserves will kill the planet in much less than 100 years.

“The growth in the demand at a global level is starting to slow down”. China? India? Brazil? Has no one spoken to Scaroni?

“As regards refineries, there is good reason to be optimistic. According to the estimates, primary refinery capacity will grow by 9.0 mb/d {millions of barrels per day} between 2006 and 2011……

Technology and advanced competences are essential for increasing the recovery of petrol, to save the oil deposits from decline, to refine heavy and non conventional oils.”
I’m not so optimistic. The planet is not so optimistic.

Technology must be made to serve research, not the refineries.

“Such a high price of oil offers us the opportunity to invest in the future.”
But if Scaroni is right and the demand is going down, why are the prices going up? With the “pizzo” on oil why do we have to finance the extraction of more oil rather than renewable energy?

Pecoraro, Bertinotti, Di Pietro, Prodi, Fassino, and even you lot in opposition, where the f..k are you hiding? The future of our children is at stake, not the balance sheet of ENI and its dividends. What stories will you tell them tomorrow? That Scaroni was an accident on the road and that you didn’t know anything?

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:25 AM in Energy | Comments (14) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

September 01, 2006

Tarcisio Bertone and the here and now


On 16 August I published the post ‘Idleness is Revolutionary’ with: “This madness is the love of work, the existential passion for work, driven even to the exhaustion of the vital forces of the individual and of his progeny.” Pope Benedict XVI at the Angelus on 19 August affirmed that is necessary to “be aware of the dangers of excess activity, whatever the condition and the office that one holds, because multi-tasking often leads to hardness of heart.”

On 8 August I published the post 'No Oil, no war’ in which I wrote: “Alternative energies are now obligatory. This is the true emergency.” On 29 August, Tarcisio Bertone, the Archbishop of Genoa and soon to be Secretary of State declared: “We depend almost exclusively on one single source of energy: oil. We must find alternative sources.” And “Beppe Grillo, in his small way is an example that we can follow”. In my small way I’m really getting big-headed. In this mechanism, I can’t see who is the cause and who is the effect. But some kind of royalty, 5 per thousand, the Vatican should give me. Tarcisio Bertone is a man of the Church who is engaged with the here and now as well as the after-life. Of the beauty of this world and of alternative energy. A man like that I see as a sign that things can change. The Church, even with its limits and its dogmas seem more advanced than Italian society.

The myths of work for its own sake, of infinite resources, of consumerism, of ownership, of money are (dare I say it?) evil. Certainly in the here and now. For the after-life I don’t know, but I’ll ask Tarcisio Bertone if he wants to meet up with me and some experts in alternative energy. I would like to convince him to adopt them and to start to give a good example, and making savings, in the City of the Vatican and in buildings of the Church (hospitals, care homes etc. )
I invite Italian politicians, who have named Pope John Paul II so much in connection with the pardon, to also report the words of Tarcisio Bertone.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 05:38 PM in Energy | Comments (55) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

August 08, 2006

No oil no war


A fact in itself is only a fact. It’s difficult to understand the reason for it. However a collection of facts can be interpreted. And a mass of facts lasting decades is still more understandable. The wars in the Middle East continue without a break. Their fuel is called petrol. It’s a fuel that is not renewable. 50% of it has already gone. A part of the remaining 50% has very high extraction costs. When the demand increases, India and China, and the offer decreases, the price increases.

And when there’s not oil for everyone, the strongest, those who are more armed, want to have it for themselves. Oil is called Persian Gulf. The world war for oil is going on and it will finish when the oil supply has run out. How long will it take? Twenty, thirty years?

In the meantime, there will always be less available and the international tension will increase. The economies of industrialised nations are based on oil. Who controls the exporting countries guarantees the growth of their economy. Who doesn’t control them will implode. Who will this be? China, India, Europe?

Of those countries in the Persian Gulf who are not under the dominion of the United States, there’s Syria and Iran who has decided to sell its oil in Euro and petrol-euros frighten the Americans more then Bin Laden. Iraq is at war. The Lebanon is at war. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are under the protection of the Americans.
To get an end to the war, it’s necessary to fight the oil. The oil companies. Their interests that are fused with those of the arms manufacturers.

Alternative energies are now obligatory. This is the true emergency.
No oil, no war.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:49 AM in Energy | Comments (28) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

April 23, 2006

Nostalgia for Chernobyl

A conference was organised by Greenpeace, Legambiente and WWF in Rome on 19 April to mark 20 years since the Chernobyl tragedy. It aimed to examine the real costs and the current situation of nuclear energy.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) nuclear energy contributes only 6.5% of primary energy and it is forecast to fall to 4.5% by the year 2030.
Nuclear energy is the most costly energy source and it needs the most support from the State.

According to the United States Department of Energy (DOE) the cost of 1 KWh of electrical energy costs 6.13cent/$ from gas 4.96 cent/$, from coal 5.34 cent/$, from wind power 5.05 cent/$.
Similar results are presented by researchers at Chicago University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. These figures are underestimates because they do not include the costs of decommissioning the plant and the long term management of the waste products.

A false myth about nuclear energy is the abundance of uranium in nature. It is true that its presence is widespread, but it is normally found in infinitesimal quantities, so tiny as to not be practically usable. Reserves of uranium that can be extracted commercially could last for a period of about a century if consumption levels are kept at those for 2000. If we were to substitute nuclear fuel for all the fossil fuel to produce electricity that would need thousands of nuclear power stations and the consequent using up of reserves of uranium in just a few years.
And finally, not even nuclear power is exempt from carbon dioxide emissions. Just think of the fossil energy needed to construct the power stations, to extract, transport and enrich the uranium, to manage the waste products, and to dismantle the power stations at the end of their useful lives. Investing in nuclear power means wasting public and private resources whilst damaging the development of renewable sources and hindering technologies that increase energy efficiency.

But some people never stop thinking about it. Those with nostalgia for Chernobyl, never give up. Among these are Scaroni’s Enel that bought Slovenske Elektrarne and thus finally came back to nuclear when the second reactor at Mochovce was made operational.

From 1990 to 2005, the Austrians were trying to close down the first reactor and they even vetoed the entry of Slovakia into the European Union (Mochovce is only 100 km from Vienna).

The Austrian government installed scores of wind turbines on the border with Slovakia very visible to the naked eye, even as a sign of protest.

I propose that the Italian government installs a few wind turbines in front of the Rome HQ of Enel. Perhaps they have never seen any.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 02:47 AM in Energy | Comments (8) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 21, 2006

Pay for renewables, buy exhaust fumes

Seven months after the launch of the Energy Account I’m having a look to see what has happened.

The law was received by Italians with great enthusiasm: 25,000 requests have been received by GRTN {Gestore della Rete di Trasmissione Nazionale = Energy Network} for a total of about 900 MWp. And it is estimated that 19,000 of these are without errors and represent a total of about 700 MWp. A similar photovoltaic capacity could generate electrical energy that would be produced by a thermo-electric generating station of about 140MW!
Unfortunately, the update to the law that came into force at the beginning of February put a limit of 85 MWp/year for requests arriving after the first of Mach. This is equal to a tenth of the power installed in Germany in 2005. Thus many requests will not be satisfied.

It seems that the reason for the limit is the excessive cost if too many photovoltaic systems are installed. In fact, the financial resources for the Energy Account arrive from the tariff A3 component. This is shown on our energy bills with the wording “Costruzione impianti fonti rinnovabili” {construction of renewable energy plant}.
Thus on an electricity bill of say, 936 Euro we are paying 34 Euro (3.6% of the total) to finance renewable Italian sources. In reality only about 20% (less than 7 Euro) goes to renewable sources. The other 27 Euro pay for electrical energy produced by generating stations fuelled by sources defined as “assimilated” (defined by GRTN): “those in cogeneration: those that use resulting heat, exhaust fumes, and other forms of energy that can be recovered in processes and in structures; those that use the by-products of production and/or of processes and those that use fossil fuels produced only from minor, isolated deposits.”

How many Italians know that from 1992 to the present we have paid (out of our own pockets) about 30,000,000,000 Euro (thus equal to 2 important budget packages) that according to what is written on our electricity bills should be going to the “construction of renewable energy plant”?
In the end only about 6 of those 30 billion Euro are being used for clean energy (mainly hydroelectric).

A good portion of the other 24 billion has instead gone to fill out the coffers of well known oil companies that were burning off (and still do burn off) the by-products of their production (that is also the most polluting part) to produce electrical energy. And still today they write on our electricity bills that that money is going to support renewable sources instead of the oil companies.

Doesn’t it seem a great cheek? The interests of the great  (and rich) energy groups are more important than the majority of Italians who have shown their wish to develop truly renewable sources.

Among the first actions the new government must take is to remove the limit of 85 MWp/year and above all it must stop the money collected from “construction of renewable energy plant” going to sources that are assimilated and in co-generation. This situation reduces investments and employment in a sector of environmental protection that has enormous potential for development. As well as that, it increases our electricity import bill.

At a conference last February our neo-employee Romano Prodi said: “as a minimum, we must reach the levels for photovoltaics as installed in Germany” Now it’s the moment to respect promises. Get moving Prodi, get moving…

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:54 AM in Energy | Comments (14) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

April 11, 2006

Get moving Prodi, starting now...


The Unione has won. After a sober glass of spumante we ask our employee Romano Prodi to start work straight away from tomorrow morning beginning with the incinerators. Get moving Prodi.

Dear President of the Council, Romano Prodi,

The production of energy by incinerating refuse, happening in the face of protests in Europe today, is strongly supported by State money because it benefits improperly from the so-called Cip 6 designed to benefit “renewable resources”. We pay for this in our electricity bills. Without Cip 6, the production of energy from refuse would have no economic advantage with respect to renewable sources.

The same European Commission, led by yourself in 2003 with the EU Commissioner for Transport and Energy, Loyola De Palacio, in reply to a question from the European MP Monica Frassoni, on 20.11.2003 (reply E-2935/03IT) repeated the “no” of the EU to the extension of the regime of European support to developing renewable energy sources according to the Directive 2001/77, to the incineration of the non biodegradable parts of refuse. The following is the text of the statement of the Energy Commissioner in 2003: “The Commission confirms that, according to the definition of article 2, letter b) of the directive 2001/77/CE of the  European Parliament and of the Council, of  27 September 2001, the promotion of electrical energy produced from renewable sources in the internal electricity market, the non-biodegradable fraction of the refuse cannot be considered a source of renewable energy.”

A study carried out by the Bocconi University in 2005 demonstrated that the cost of 1 MWh produced by a medium sized hydro electric power station is equal to 66 Euro and this goes down to 63 Euro if the energy is produced using wind power. It goes up to 121 Euro if produced from Biomass and arrives at 280 Euro if from photovoltaics. Incineration of solid urban refuse with the “recuperation of energy” without considering the cost of management and the handling of the refuse and the damage to human health caused by the nano particles, before it arrives at the incinerator is 228 Euro per MWh.

This means that if the Cip 6, that we pay for through our Enel bills, were to go to sources that are truly renewable, in Italy it would be cheaper to go for solar power rather than for incinerators.

If State funding were to go to truly renewable sources and not to refuse, the production of electricity from the so-called CDR {Combustibile da rifiuti or Combustible from Refuse} and using incinerators that are improperly termed only in Italy "Termovalorizzatori" {Heat Extractors} would have no economic advantage.  They would not be attractive to the citizens nor to the companies that choose to produce energy through this system and to get rid of refuse using incineration.

Furthermore, the incinerators especially the new generation ones, as demonstrated by the research carried out by dottor Stefano Montanari and dottoressa Antonietta Gatti produce really dangerous inorganic nanoparticles (Pm 2.5 to Pm 0.01) that penetrate into the blood and from there are distributed to the organs of the human body where they form deposits and cause serious illnesses like cancer. These are the so-called nanopathologies.

These nanodusts are created at the very high temperatures that are generated. A story already seen in the Enel generating station using oil at Porto Tolle (where Tatò, Scaroni and Enel were condemned and ordered to pay out 3 million Euro in compensation). This was also seen in those coming back from Kosovo and Iraq (the so-called “Gulf Syndrome” caused by depleted uranium missiles or by tungsten). It was seen in the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York and in the industrial zones. Even some antiparticulate filters are suspected of producing the dangerous nanoparticles.

As the first action of your Government we therefore ask you to:

- respect European directives to immediately abolish financing  of the incineration of refuse as it is not a renewable source of energy. As in other countries of Europe, the incineration of refuse should be taxed and according to us should be forbidden.

- abolish the “Delegation Law” on the environment established by the Berlusconi Government which among other things, provides for an incinerator in every Province as well as the elimination of many controls and ways of protecting the environment and thus of protecting health.

- be decisive about the management of the whole cycle of refuse management. Reduce the source of refuse by taxing those who produce more packaging. Give incentives to those who encourage reuse and work towards the reduction of refuse, and the differentiated collection. Make this obligatory in the whole of Italy as it is in Germany. For handling residual waste, use modern systems of “cold” biological treatments that is without incineration as has already been experimented in other parts of Europe as well as in Sydney in Australia. As well as not producing nanoparticles, they cost about 75% less than the incineration plants.

- give legal recognition to the danger of nanoparticles (Pm 2.5 to Pm 0.01) as various researchers have been asking the Commission of the European Parliament to do.

We want change. For now, we trust you.

Beppe Grillo and the  bloggers

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:26 AM in Energy | Comments (39) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

February 11, 2006

The Enchantment of the Incinerators


Yesterday evening I was in Trento to talk about the incinerator together with experts like Bettini, Fasullo, Montanari, Zecca and Nervi.

I’ll say straight away that incinerators, called termovalorizzatori  {thermo-valuers} only in Italy, the nth word enchantment, are of no use; that they are an invention of 40 years ago; that for every kilo of material burned, a third of the output becomes ash, toxic dangerous refuse; that it doesn’t allow us to save energy, but the contrary and therefore they are not worthwhile; that Italy is the only country that finances incinerators with public money; that the higher the temperature reached, the more the ash is fine, poisonous and cancer-inducing; that the use of the selected collection of refuse makes them useless; that the reuse of containers like glass and plastic bottles makes them useless; that an ecology tax could be added to single-use containers, paid by the producers; that we need to reduce consumption; that we need to increase the production of energy from  renewable  sources; that the first nations, like Germany, that constructed incinerators are now decommissioning them; that the production of energy is to be de-localised.

Incinerators would not stand up economically, they would not exist, if they were not financed by the State that hands over 180 lire for every kwh {kilowatt-hour} produced as they are treated like renewable energy sources.

Those who say no to incinerators, those who don’t associate them with the idea of progress are classed by the media as the “no” people.

And after that, in the ranks of the “no global”, of the confrontationalists, of the anarcho-insurrectionalists (a term used 100 times a day by the employee Pisanu).

And they are right.

In fact today, the citizens, if correctly informed become noglobalconfrontationalistsinsurrectionalists and they are proud to be so.

And they don’t want incinerators under their feet.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 01:50 AM in Energy | Comments (5) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

January 27, 2006

Clean energy, dirty information


The proofreaders of once upon a time have disappeared.

Have you noticed?

Newspapers contain typing errors, imprecise information and spelling mistakes. You need to understand these editors, these journalists.

They work every day, even holidays, to keep us informed. We cannot really expect precision.
This even happens with the surveys. They ask a question while thinking of another one, the opposite. And when they realise, it’s too late, the newspaper is already in print. Today’s Repubblica worried about the gas emergency, consults the citizens with a survey using SMS to be paid for at 0.3098 euro TIM, 0.30 euro Vodafone and Wind, including sales tax.
The first question needs careful reflection:

”Is it right to focus on energy saving on the part of families and companies?”

And after the first question, that naturally encourages us to save, we pass to number two:
”Should we opt for alternative sources, including nuclear?”

The error is only in this word: “including”.

But it’s clear that they wanted to say: “excluding” , they know that nuclear is not an alternative energy.
Or perhaps not? Is that question the attempt at tripping us up, to make the Italians pay for the privilege of saying that they want nuclear?
At this point, I’d add a third question, to the survey, just so that the motives are clear:

”Is it highly likely that the editorial group of l’Espresso has interests connected to nuclear energy that it considers alternative to the alternative energies?”

First PS: Yesterday my 2006 tour called "Incantesimi" (Enchantments) started.

Second PS: Today the blog celebrates its first birthday. The first comment came from my next door neighbour. Today we’re a few more. Thank you everyone.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 12:42 AM in Energy | Comments (7) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend | TrackBack (0)

October 07, 2005

Future Energy Source: Coal

In an article in La Repubblica 27 April 2005, Vittorio Mincato, the CEO of ENI {Italian conglomerate} supported the idea of natural gas as a source of energy to feed the electricity generating stations. In reply to the proposal of Paolo Scaroni, CEO of ENEL {State Electricity company} to use coal as an energy source, Mincato said: The main road to follow to meet the limits set down by the Kyoto agreement … is the substitution of coal and oil with natural gas” … “Every time this topic is discussed people claim it’s scandalous, but natural gas is the only way ahead. It isn’t the way defined by politics or by opinion, but it’s the way that physics teaches us: for the same energy produced by gas, there’s a lower level of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. “

Those who support coal, state that it is the most economical fuel (defined by whom?) and that the cost of electrical energy in Italy is the highest in Europe. And yet it doesn’t look like that if we look at the chart shown here. In this, Italy comes after Portugal, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark.


Source: International Energy Agency

Every year 10 thousand Chinese people die each year extracting coal. (Is this why it is so economical?) And by burning it in our electricity generating stations gives us an increase in the emissions of carbon dioxide and prevents us from meeting the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol: we have to pay enormous fines through our taxes as opposed to paying through the electricity bills (which would be fairer)

The Italian State, that is us, is paying really high prices for “emissions trading” with States that pollute less, so that we can pollute more.

What hasn’t been mentioned is that in fact it wouldn’t be necessary to have new electricity generating stations, if serious energy saving policies were put in place. By using alternative sources of energy (wind, solar, biomass etc) and with energy-saving technology for end-users we could save 45% of our energy consumption.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 01:34 PM in Energy | Comments (11) | Comments in Italian (translated) | Write | Sign up | Send to a friend

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